5 Steps to Becoming a Teacher Are you thinking about becoming a teacher? It’s a profession with great rewards and challenges. Education is also a profession that generally is in demand, providing steady jobs for the millions of women and men in the field of education. Whether you’re thinking about becoming a teacher right out of college, or choosing teaching as a second career, our 5 Steps to Becoming a Teacher is a guide that you won’t want to miss. Step 1: Decide if Teaching is Right for You Step 2: Choose a Teaching Degree & Focus Step 3: Become a State Qualified Teacher Step 4: The Resume & Interview Process for Teachers Step 5: Salary & Benefits Guide for Teachers Step 1: Decide if Teaching is Right for You Is teaching the right career for you? Being a teacher isn’t for everyone, but it may be the perfect career for you. Are you contemplating getting into a career in teaching but need some advice about what the career is all about? The teaching profession can be challenging and does not come with a high paying salary, though it can come with high rewards. A. Characteristics Teachers Need B. 10 Reasons to Become a Teacher C. Why Teach? D. Transitioning Into a Career in Education A. Characteristics Teachers Need Being a teacher isn’t for everyone. Teaching does not come with a high salary, though it can come with high rewards. Many skills are required to become successful in a classroom. If you are selecting education as your first or second career, there are several qualities that are helpful to possess. Ask yourself the following questions. Do you like people? I know the question may seem simple, but it is important that teachers like people. No teacher sits at a desk in isolation all day. The day is spent interacting with people. Spend lots of time with children of different ages. Find the age level that you are most comfortable working with. You’ll be spending the majority of your day with students, and liking them will help your classroom stay a happy place. Can you be calm in any situation? Classrooms can go from stillness to chaos in a matter of seconds. It is important that teachers have a handle on their emotions. Children, parents, or faculty may yell at you or each other. Staying calm and responding calmly will help you stay professional and balanced. Are you fair? There might be a student in your classroom that successfully becomes the “teachers pet.” However, every student in your class needs to be assessed by their performance skills, not on their personality. Establish rules and follow them to be considered a fair teacher. Students will find it hard to argue with a teacher who is always fair. Can you see situations from different views? You classroom may be a melting pot of the town you teach in. There might by many different ethnic or socio-economic groups represented in your class. Students might also be diverse in their learning habits, speech or motor skills. The ability to see every student and their unique perspective is an important skill in teaching; every student should have the chance to understand the lesson. Are you confident about sharing your knowledge? Whether it is math or music, teachers need to know their content area and be confident in sharing it. Teachers are leading student learning all day. It is easier to command attention when you know what you’re talking about. Some teachers experience nerves at first when appearing before a class. Never fear, you will get over it. Can you manage time effectively and with flexibility? The school day goes by fast. In order to organize lessons effectively, it’s important to manage time effectively. A meaningful lesson can be taught in any amount to time, but there’s more to the school day than one lesson. Being flexible with time and organizing lessons is key to achieving student performance goals. B. 10 Reasons to Become a Teacher Wondering why you should become a teacher? Ask a teacher and you’ll get lots of great reasons! Here are ten reasons to get you started. 1. TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE When just one child’s life has been altered positively because of you, you’ve can feel proud that you have made a difference. 2. TO HAVE THE SUMMER OFF It’s one of the perks of being a teacher. Each year is a new experience that can be met after a little rest and relaxation. 3. TO IGNITE THE FIRE Pass your passion on to children and watch their curiosity catch fire. 4. TO FIND SUCCESS Watching students succeed at simple or complex tasks is an experience you can be a part of every day. Every student has the opportunity to succeed, no matter how small the goal. 5. TO BE VIRTUOUS You might get to be the only presence of kindness, patience, or understanding in a student’s life each the day. 6. TO AFFECT THE FUTURE Influence the next generation by sharing your knowledge. You are the leader of your classroom, and with that power comes responsibility and opportunity to shape minds and ideas. 7. TO BE GLOBAL Help today’s youth find beauty and respect for diversity. 8. TO HAVE JOB SECURITY Once you have met the requirements to become a teacher and have proven your success, it’s steady work. Teachers are in demand! 9. TO BE A GOOD CITIZEN Serve the youth of your community and country by contributing your time and talents. Help students understand their full potential. h4. 10. TO STAY YOUNG Being with students all day helps teachers of any age stay connected to current events and trends. Students are creative and energetic creatures that will keep you on your toes. You’ll find something to make you laugh every day. C. Why Teach? I went to my 20th high school reunion this weekend. One of my friends, Charles, told me that he could see that I really cared about the success of my students. Another was encouraged by my efforts and said, “that’s what the world needs, more committed teachers!” The thing is, other than sharing the fact that this was my 10th year in the classroom, I didn’t tell them anything about what or how I do what I do. Their comments, while enjoyed by my ego, confounded me. How did they know I cared about my students? How did they know that I was committed to my service? Teachers are definitely a breed apart. True we are made, and not created, but it seems like you can always tell a good teacher when you see one, even if you don’t see them teach. I ran into an old student of mine at the car wash earlier that day. She shared with me her desire to teach. I encouraged her because I knew already that she would make a great teacher. Her personality is inviting, she seems naturally kind and patient, she doesn’t judge but instead shares a warm smile. She will be a great teacher regardless of subject matter or grade level. I could see that in her, just like my friends could see it in me. But I haven’t always been able to see it in myself. The “it” being the qualities and energy of a good teacher. I reflect on my teaching, but usually my reflections display all the things I need to fix, or don’t do very well. Still, I endure, and continue to work at improving myself because I just love what I do, and couldn’t dream now of doing anything else. However, teaching was not my first choice. I did not see myself as a teacher when I was younger. Other people did: my father and my wife. They suggested I try teaching; and it was a good fit. But what makes teaching a good fit for me? And why do I fit teaching? Have you ever asked yourself why you teach? For some, the answer is obvious. They teach because that is what they have always wanted to do. For others, they teach because teaching provides a steady paycheck and great benefits. Still others are called by some higher authority to spend their days wiping noses and answering the same question three or more times an hour. If we are to be successful teachers, teachers who change lives, we have to look deeper than the desire, the paycheck, or the calling. I think we have to look deep within ourselves and recognize that not only does the world need great teachers, role models willing to give selflessly, but that we too have a need to play the role or inspirer, sage, and friend. Not everyone needs to know that their efforts are meaningful. But I do. I gave up pursuing a career in television because I didn’t want to spend my time away from my family selling soap. It was fun, but empty. Teaching allows me to make the world around me a better place. I regularly see alumni who tell me that the time spent in my class made a difference to lives and changed them in some way. Not all my students, but many share the same experience. Is there something I do directly that changes them? I’m not sure. Like Charles said, it is very important to me that my students are successful. I don’t know yet exactly how that plays out in my classroom, but it is at the top of my list of priorities. As my other friend pointed out, I am completely committed to my students success, but what does that look like? The answer is that it is different for different teachers. But one thing is certain, if you are not invested in your students success, and if you are not committed to them, then I have to ask you, why teach? D. Transitioning into a Career in Education Have you been sitting back recently, contemplating your future and where you are headed? Are you thinking about changing your career, but not exactly sure where to start? Well, I’m here to tell you that you are certainly not alone. As a Certified Career Coach and Resume Writer, I often work with individuals who are looking for a rewarding career change, guiding them on their path to a successful life change. When you have discovered that your once-rewarding and satisfying job no longer provides you with the same excitement and enthusiasm, it may be the time to consider a career change. Complete commitment to this pursuit will open you up to endless career possibilities. During the course of my career I have worked with many individuals who wanted to change careers and embark on a new challenge, teaching children. I have heard many reasons why mid-career changers are drawn to a career in education, and have ventured to list a few examples. 1. Giving Back to Society: Many successful professionals have often embraced a career in teaching in order to “give back” to society. They often want to teach the real-world experiences they have learned through hands-on participation in a particular field. 2. Mentoring & Guiding: Often career changers choose teaching as a means to coach and lead today’s youth and foster in them a passion for learning. 3. Sharing Knowledge & Passion: I have found that most career changers bring a high level of enthusiasm and dedication as new educators, combined with a solid understanding of diverse subject material. Beginning the search for a new career can be overwhelming and a bit frightening, to say the least. However, here are a few things that you will want to consider before embarking on your journey: 1. Retraining & Professional Development: Going back to school will give you a chance to learn your new career and provide you with a greater understanding of the role and how to sustain employment within that area. 2. Interchangeable Skills: Take a solid look at your skills and determine those that can be applied across different careers. For example, teachers must possess the ability to be creative, organized, disciplined, and self-directed; if you have these skills, showcase them. 3. Maximizing Your Skill Set/Your Resume: Your resume must emphasize your relevant past career achievements and contributions; be proud to list each and every one. Learn what a school district is looking for in their teachers; their goals and objectives and where they are headed. Once you have drafted your resume, get feedback from someone you trust. 4. Envision the Position: You may want to envision how you look in the role of your new position, working within that venue day after day. Ask yourself, What parts of the job do I like the best? Am I really interested? Performing this exercise may help you find your right career path. Focus on the skills you enjoy using the most, and build a career based soundly on your passions and your dreams. The process of looking for and finding your new career is a huge opportunity for you to develop deeper self-awareness, and it may just be the thing that supercharges your zest for life. Step 2: Choose a Teaching Degree & Focus In order to become a teaching professional, you’ll need to get a degree and choose a teaching specialty. Though most states only require a Bachelor’s degree to become a teacher, a Master’s Degree may help acquire a teaching job in more competitive areas. There are many specialty areas in education that you can focus on to earn a teaching degree, and even more available specialties within the education field. A. Choosing a School for Teacher Education B. Common Majors In Education C. Specialty Majors In Education D. Leadership Majors in Education E. Popular Education Career Summaries A. Choosing a School for Teacher Education You must hold a bachelor’s degree. To become a teacher. Check with your state, however, as some states now require a Master’s degree. Depending on the state you want to teach in, you may need a minor or major in the field of Education. If you plan on teaching grades 6-12, a bachelor’s degree in the subject you wish to teach in mandatory. You must complete an accredited program that fulfills student teaching requirements with a certain number of hours in the classroom. Colleges that charge $20,000 per year and more do exist, but they are the exception. In 2005-2006, the average in-state full-time tuition and fees per year for an undergraduate at a four-year public university was $5,206. (Source: National Center for Education Statistics, Higher Education General Information Survey.) Typically, community colleges cost less and private schools cost more. Types of Schools Most postsecondary schools can be described as public or private, two-year or four-year. Public institutions are state supported. Private for-profit institutions are businesses. Private not-for-profit institutions are independent — for instance, the school might have been established by a church or through local community donations rather than by the state government. Four-year institutions offer bachelor’s degrees, and some offer advanced degrees. Two-year institutions offer associate’s degrees. Less-than-two-year institutions offer training and award certificates of completion. College – A four-year college grants bachelor’s degrees (Bachelor of Arts; Bachelor of Science). Some colleges also award master’s degrees. University – A university grants bachelor’s and master’s degrees, and sometimes includes a professional school such as a law school or medical school. Universities tend to be larger than colleges, focus more on scholarly or scientific research, and might have larger class sizes. Bottom of Form Community college – A public two-year college granting associate’s degrees and sometimes certificates in particular technical (career-related) subjects. Some students start their postsecondary education at a community college and then transfer to a four-year school, either because a community college tends to be cheaper than a four-year college, or because admissions standards at community colleges are often less stringent than at four-year schools. Junior college – Similar to a community college, except that a junior college is usually a private school. Career school, technical school or vocational/trade school -- These terms are often used interchangeably. May be public or private, two-year or less-than-two-year. Career schools offer courses that are designed to prepare students for specific careers, from welding to cosmetology to medical imaging, etc. The difference between technical schools and trade schools is that technical schools teach the science behind the occupation, while trade schools focus on hands-on application of skills needed to do the job. Last updated/reviewed October 30, 2006 Distance Learning Lots of schools are experimenting with distance learning—whereby students access lectures or course materials via the Internet or through other electronic media rather than in person. Whether a distance learning course or degree is right for you is a matter of personal preference. You should note that not every distance learning course or degree is accredited and/or eligible for federal student aid. To find out whether you can receive federal student aid for your program, check with your school’s financial aid professional. B. Common Majors In Education One of the best things about a degree in education is the variety it can offer. We’ve compiled a list of majors in education with sample courses for each major. Many majors in education have a core curriculum in common. It’s important to focus your major in education as soon as possible to maximize your time for the courses you need to take. Many majors offer a more interdisciplinary approach, so inquire how different disciplines can be combined. The majority of education majors can be combined with a teaching license track for your state. Major in Child Development This major will prepare majors by focusing studies on cultural, family, peer, school and neighborhood contexts where children live. It should provide a strong background in social and behavioral sciences and how they relate to child development. Clear understanding of the theory and research necessary to this field should be developed through major specific courses. Sample Courses: Developmental Psychology Cognitive Aspects of Human Development Social and Personality Development Infancy and Adolescence Development Experimental, Observational & Psychometric Methods Major in Child Studies A major in child studies is interdisciplinary, drawing on areas of psychology, education, special education, and human development. It prepares students for various health related areas involving children (medicine, nursing, child and family advocacy.) Sample Courses: Developmental Psychology Research Methods Language and Literacy Family Communities Diversity Major in Elementary Education This major will prepare students to teach children in grades K-8. Sample Courses: Child Development Society, the School and the Teacher Classroom Technologies Language and Literacy Parents and Their Developing Children Teaching Diverse Students Student Teaching Social and Philosophical Aspects of Education Exploring Literature for Children/Adolescents Assessment Strategies Arts Education Teaching English Teaching Foreign Language Teaching Math in Elementary Schools Science for Elementary Teachers Teaching Social Students in Elementary Schools Major in Secondary Education This major will prepare students to teach one or more subjects at the secondary level, grades 7-12. It usually requires an area of emphasis in at least one field, which needs additional course work in that discipline. Sample Courses: Society, the School and the Teacher Classroom Technologies Language and Literacy Teaching Diverse Students Student Teaching Social and Philosophical Aspects of Education Exploring Literature for Adolescents Assessment Strategies Arts Education Teaching English Teaching Foreign Language Teaching Math in Secondary Schools Science for Secondary Teachers Teaching Social Students in Secondary Schools Major in Special Education This major prepares students to work with persons with disabilities and should provide direct involvement with individuals with disabilities. There are different emphases in special education: Mild and moderate disabilities Multiple and severe disabilities Visual impairment Hearing impairment Sample Courses: Introduction to Exceptionality Managing Academic and Social Behavior Assessment Strategies for Students with Disabilities Procedures for Students with Severe Disabilities Audiology Manual communications C. Specialty Majors In Education Speech Language Pathologist In 2005, 47 States required speech-language pathologists to be licensed if they worked in a health care setting, and all States required a master’s degree or equivalent. A passing score on the national examination on speech-language pathology, offered through the Praxis Series of the Educational Testing Service, is needed as well. Other requirements typically are 300 to 375 hours of supervised clinical experience and 9 months of postgraduate professional clinical experience. Forty-one States have continuing education requirements for licensure renewal. Only 11 States require this same license to practice in the public schools. The other States issue a teaching license or certificate that typically requires a master’s degree from an approved college or university. Some States will grant a temporary teaching license or certificate to bachelor’s degree applicants, but a master’s degree must be earned in 3 to 5 years. A few States grant a full teacher’s certificate or license to bachelor’s degree applicants. Social Worker A bachelor’s degree in social work (BSW) degree is the most common minimum requirement to qualify for a job as a social worker; however, majors in psychology, sociology, and related fields may qualify for some entry-level jobs, especially in small community agencies. Although a bachelor’s degree is sufficient for entry into the field, an advanced degree has become the standard for many positions. A master’s degree in social work (MSW) is typically required for positions in health settings and is required for clinical work as well. Some jobs in public and private agencies also may require an advanced degree, such as a master’s degree in social services policy or administration. Supervisory, administrative, and staff training positions usually require an advanced degree. College and university teaching positions and most research appointments normally require a doctorate in social work (DSW or Ph.D.). Librarian A master’s degree in library science (MLS) is necessary for librarian positions in most public, academic, and special libraries and in some school libraries. The Federal Government requires that the librarians it employs have an MLS or the equivalent in education and experience. Many colleges and universities offer MLS programs, but employers often prefer graduates of the approximately 56 schools accredited by the American Library Association. Most MLS programs require a bachelor’s degree, but no specific undergraduate program is required. Counselors All States require school counselors to hold a State school counseling certification and to have completed at least some graduate course work; most require the completion of a masters degree. Some States require public school counselors to have both counseling and teaching certificates and to have had some teaching experience before receiving certification. For counselors based outside of schools, 48 States and the District of Columbia have some form of counselor licensure that governs their practice of counseling. Requirements typically include the completion of a master’s degree in counseling, the accumulation of 2 years or 3,000 hours of supervised clinical experience beyond the masters degree level, the passage of a State-recognized exam, adherence to ethical codes and standards, and the completion of annual continuing education requirements. Counselors must be aware of educational and training requirements that are often very detailed and that vary by area and by counseling specialty. Prospective counselors should check with State and local governments, employers, and national voluntary certification organizations in order to determine which requirements apply. Special Education All 50 States and the District of Columbia require special education teachers to be licensed. The State board of education or a licensure advisory committee usually grants licenses, and licensure varies by State. In some States, special education teachers receive a general education credential to teach kindergarten through grade 12. These teachers then train in a specialty, such as learning disabilities or behavioral disorders. Many States offer general special education licenses across a variety of disability categories, while others license several different specialties within special education. Bottom of Form For traditional licensing, all States require a bachelor’s degree and the completion of an approved teacher preparation program with a prescribed number of subject and education credits and supervised practice teaching. However, many States require a master’s degree in special education, involving at least 1 year of additional course work, including a specialization, beyond the bachelor’s degree. Often a prospective teacher must pass a professional assessment test as well. Some States have reciprocity agreements allowing special education teachers to transfer their licenses from one State to another, but many others still require that experienced teachers reapply and pass licensing requirements to work in the State. D. Leadership Majors in Education If you’re considering becoming a principal, an assistant principal, or an instructional specialist, you will need to take courses to fulfill the requirements for those positions. In addition to a bachelor’s degree, you will need to earn an advanced degree in administration or educational leadership. Here are some sample degree programs for a career in leadership. MA in Education/Administration and Supervision Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership Bottom of Form Doctor of Education/Curriculum and Instruction M.S. in Education – Curriculum, Instruction & Assessment M.S. in Education – Educational Leadership Doctor of Education (Ed. D) Doctor of Education (Ed. D) – Administrator Leadership Doctor of Education (Ed. D) – Teacher Leadership PhD in Education PhD in Education – Higher Education PhD in Education – K-12 Education Leadership E. Popular Education Career Summaries The field of education is vast and so are the careers that it offers. If you want to be in education, but haven’t quite narrowed your search to specific careers, you’ll want to read our popular career profiles. Each career profile give detailed information about the education necessary to become qualified, the average salary expectations, and a description of what the job entails. Elementary School Teacher Middle/High School Teacher Special Education Teacher Gifted Education Teacher Principal Professor/Post-Secondary Preschool Teacher Bottom of Form Paraprofessional/Teaching Assistant Counselor Librarian Social Worker Speech-Language Pathologist Occupational Therapist Step 3: Become a State Qualified Teacher Becoming a certified teacher should be on your mind well before you finish your degree program. A big factor in finding a job is if you hold the qualifications necessary that each state requires. Where you were trained can affect the ease of getting a teaching license, as many programs cater their education majors to be in line with state certification. Whether you’re considering a public school or private school, you’ll want to read the information. A. Who Needs to Become a State Certified Teacher? B. 50 States Teaching Requirements C. Alternate Routes to Certification D. Registering for State Exams A. Who Needs to Become a State Certified Teacher? If you are planning on teaching in a public school you will need to apply for a state teaching license. If you have completed an education degree program, your classes should have fulfilled the requirements necessary to get a license. Refer to the next page to find your states’ requirements. You must hold a bachelor’s degree. Check with your state, however, as some states now require a Master’s degree. Depending on the state you want to teach in, you may need a minor or major in the field of Education. If you are planning on teaching in a private school, the institution may not require that you hold a current state teaching license. Every private school is different, so make sure you don’t miss out on a job you could apply for by not obtaining a teaching license. Becoming a state certified teacher may mean more than just applying for a teaching license. Refer to page 5 to see how to register for state exams. Each state has specific requirements that are necessary to meet to become a state qualified teacher. As each state is different. B. 50 States Teaching Requirements AlabamaArkansasAlaskaArizonaCaliforniaColorado WyomingConnecticutDelawareDistrict of ColumbiaFloridaGeorgiaHawaiiIdahoIllinoisIndianaIowaKansasKentuckyLouisianaMaineMarylandMassachusettsMichiganMinnesotaMississippiMissouriMontanaNebraskaNevadaNew HampshireNew JerseyNew MexicoNew YorkNorth CarolinaNorth DakotaOhioOklahomaOregonPennsylvaniaRhode IslandSouth CarolinaSouth DakotaTennesseeTexasUtahVermontVirginiaWashingtonWest VirginiaWisconsinWyoming C. Alternate Routes to Certification “Alternative” in what ways? Instead of drawing primarily from the traditional pool of teacher preparation candidates who consists mainly of college students and recent graduates, alternative route programs cast a broader net, making efforts to attract older, non-traditional candidates who come to the program already well-versed in the content they want to teach. Because novice educators in these programs can begin teaching-and drawing a salary and benefits-so quickly, the programs are able to attract candidates whose financial obligations might rule out the slower traditional route to teaching. For similar reasons they can appeal to classroom paraprofessionals with degrees who, in addition to needing a salary, may want to teach in the school where they now work, something alternative programs are more likely to facilitate. (ed.gov) Many areas offer programs for certification alternatives specifically for their district or county, so be sure to check your local education offerings. Teaching as Second Career If you have been in the work force and have recently decided that teaching is the job for you, then teaching may become your second career. If you already have a Bachelor’s degree, your road to teaching may be easier than you think. Check with your states’ requirements to see if they offer a conditional or temporary certificate for teaching. If they do, you may be able to get a job as a full-time teacher while you finish your teacher credentials. Troops to Teachers Troops to Teachers is a U.S. Department of Education and Department of Defense program that helps eligible military personnel begin a new career as teachers in public schools where their skills, knowledge and experience are most needed. Teach for America Teacher for America was started in 1990 by Wendy Kopp. Since its inception, Teach for America has grown 17,000 strong and served nearly 3 million students- the largest provider of teachers for low-income communities. The mission of Teach for America is not to fill the teacher shortage, but rather to “close the achievement gap that exists between children growing up in low-income areas and their peers in higher-income areas.” Teach For America is geared toward professionals or individuals without a teaching or education background. The general requirements for those interested in applying are a bachelor’s degree with a minimum of 2.5 GPA and U.S. Citizenship. The program works with the region to obtain the steps necessary to become certified and ready to teach. The minimum commitment is 2 years. There is a five week intensive training program for accepted applicants. D. Registering for State Exams In addition to obtaining a degree, part of the certification process is to pass state exams. You’ll want to register in advance to make sure to allow time for the scores to reach your certification processing center. Many tests fill up quickly, so don’t wait to register. There is a higher fee for last minute registrations. Taking tests well in advance also allows time to retake if the score doesn’t meet the state requirements. Prepare for the test by studying and taking practice test if available. Talk to other teachers to get a feel for the testing process. If you are planning on teaching in a private school, state exams may not be necessary, as a teaching license may not be required. Check with the private schools you are interested in working for to see if they require specific exams. Step 4: The Resume & Interview Process for Teachers Preparing a resume and interviewing for a job as a teacher will be unlike any other professional interview. The field of teaching is so unique that the resume and interview questions you prepare for are very specific. Your resume will need to be catered to teaching to get you the interview you want. Once you get an interview for a school job, you’ll need to be prepared to answer questions that will help schools gage your preparedness for the classroom. A. The Resume Guide for Teachers B. The Interview Guide for Teachers C. Search for an Education Job A- The Resume Guide for Teachers When applying for any job, you always want to make a great first impression by having a slick cover letter and intriguing resume. Resume and Interview Guide 1. Five Critical Resume Strategies for Teachers 2. How Educators Can Avoid Resume Blunders 3. Decluttering Your Resume in 5 Steps 4. Resume Preparation for Teachers 5. Be Proactive Before and After You Send Your Resume 6. Writing Effective Cover Letters 7. Nail Your Next Cover Letter 8. How to Handle the 6 Toughest Interview Questions 9. Creating a Teaching Portfolio General Teaching Career Tips 1. Is a Career in Teaching for You? 2. How to Prepare for Teaching 3. Transitioning into an Education Career 4. Make the Most of an Educational Job Fair Resume and Interview Guide 1. Five Critical Resume Strategies for Teachers The thought of creating a resume makes most people cringe. One of the biggest challenges of writing a resume is being objective, and thinking critically about what you have to offer. Writing your resume is one time you need to “boast” about your accomplishments; for many, this is extremely difficult. The following strategies and hints will help you get started in the right direction. Once you have completed your resume, you should be able to sit back and review all your accomplishments with a renewed sense of confidence. So how do you create a powerful, unique resume that will entice the reader to call you for an interview? In a resume that really works for you, there are five critical components. Appearance Counts Look at your resume this way… when you go shopping, chances are you making a purchase because you have seen the product advertised. What grabbed your attention? The ad, the product description, the benefits, or the packaging? Your resume is an advertisement that highlights YOUR relevant skills, accomplishments, and answers the interviewer’s question, “What can this candidate do to solve our problems?” The layout must be modern, professional, and eye-catching. Arrange the information for easy and enjoyable reading. Make sure your key skills and accomplishments can be located at a glance. Remember, 10-20 seconds is all your resume gets in the first screening round. Does the quality of the paper and print look great? Don’t mix fonts. Leave lots of white space. Highlight or capitalize relevant job positions to make them stand out. Use bulleted lists. If you are faxing the resume, use only white paper. If emailing your resume, use an ASCII Text format (fix the formatting after the conversion). Many companies do not open email attachments for incompatibility and virus reasons. Organization The information presented in your resume needs to be easy for the recipient to read and understand quickly. Create a highly visible and attention-grabbing summary section – this must be located at the top of the first page. If you know what type of position you are seeking, start with the job title, then use a powerful subheading that really draws the reader into the body of the resume. ELEMENTARY TEACHER Dedicated to creating stimulating and enriching learning environments to provide students with a solid educational foundation After this, you would write a Career Profile or Summary of Qualifications. This section summarizes and emphasizes your relevant knowledge and expertise, and will give the reader a concise overview of what you have to offer. This section will vary, depending on your experience. Many career profiles will include a visually appealing table of Core Competencies, which is the perfect place to list keywords. After the career profile, your resume should contain Professional Experience, Education, Credentials, Certifications, Honors, Publications, Public Speaking, Technical Expertise, Professional Affiliations, and Languages. List these items in the order of importance. Keywords Load your resume with critical keywords, job and industry specific terms, buzzwords, and jargon. When the targeted institution receives your resume, a preprogrammed computer may be used to search for keywords to determine which resumes will land in the “YES” pile. The person hired may not be the best qualified for the job, but instead the one with the “matching” keywords. Research and find out what keywords are relevant to the position you are seeking. Read job ads, job descriptions, trade journals, and websites. Bottom of Form Valuable and Convincing Content The body of your resume will decide whether or not you secure an interview. Write powerful statements that match the skills, abilities, and qualifications that the institution needs. Resumes contain sentence fragments, not complete sentences. Use vocabulary that interests the reader, rather than dull sentences that will make them put your resume in the “NO” pile. Stress accomplishments and skills, rather than dull responsibilities and job duties. Some examples of accomplishments: Reduced student discipline rate by 8% by implementing student discipline program. Increased students’ reading at grade level by 20% by implementing “home reading” program. Authored and published book entitled, “Open Parent, Staff, and Student Relationships Equal Results.” Let your personality shine – it is a well-known fact that hiring managers hire candidates with a pleasing personality. Words used in a resume can convey a personality that sets you apart from the rest of the candidates. Your writing style must be clear and concise. Write in the first person, never in the third person – do not use the word “I.” Statements should begin with action verbs, and should communicate results, accomplishments, and the value you can offer the company. Verb tenses must remain consistent. Sentences must be parallel. Make sure you show the reader you are a troubleshooter and can solve the institution’s problems. Include examples and quotes from a previous supervisor – this will increase your credibility. Class and Professionalism The resume and cover letter you submit must demonstrate and display your “best” work. Would you hire yourself if your resume were in a stack of 1000 others? To ensure professionalism, send a cover letter, and address it to the hiring manager. Make sure the spelling of his/her name is correct. Do not fold your documents – send them in a full-sized envelope. If you are unable to personally deliver the resume, send it by overnight express to make a great first impression. There must be no typos or grammatical errors. Remember, this is an indication of your best work. There are many tricks to writing an effective resume. The most important fact to remember is: Write your resume to sell YOU – consider it a critical marketing tool! 2. How Educators Can Avoid Resume Blunders Writing an effective resume can sometimes be a challenging and daunting task. It can be quite easy to inadvertently make mistakes and unknowingly sabotage your chances of securing a job. To prevent some of the most common mistakes, we have put together a listing of the most common errors and what you can do to avoid them. Typing and grammar errors: It is imperative that your resume and cover letter documents be grammatically correct and error free. An employer will take a close look at your resume and if it is riddled with errors and typos, they will more than likely draw a conclusion that care was not taken, leaving a not so flattering impression of your abilities. Have your family and friends re-read your document to ensure that it flows properly and is error-free. Multi-use resume: Trying to develop a multi-useful resume will most certainly guarantee that you will not meet every requirement put out in a job listing. It is essential that your resume be tailored to each and every job posting for which you are applying. It should be manipulated and revised to ensure that you address each identified skill and requirement within the posting. Remember that your resume is the document that will secure an interview. Paying close attention to this detail will have your calendar filled with interviews. Lack of action words & competencies: Never use the words “responsible for” when describing your position duties. Instead utilize action words that will emphasize your responsibilities and outcomes; for example: “Increased student test scores by providing additional individual assistance…” Using descriptive words throughout your resume will entice the reader and capture their attention. Using “I” or “me”: A resume is your communication document, therefore, it should be written in a concise manner. You should not use the words “I” or “me” when writing your accomplishments. As an example: “I developed and implemented creative lesson plans that allowed me to engage students in the learning process.” Instead, use the following to eliminate pronouns and articles: “developed and implemented creative lesson plans that allowed students to engage in the learning process.” Personal information on your resume: Information such as birth date, marital status, your height and weight should not be placed on your resume unless you are seeking employment overseas. Resume is too long or too short: Many individuals have the idea that their resume should be only a one-page document. Trying to squeeze your career achievements into one page may cause you to leave out impressive accomplishments. Likewise, there are those people who love to ramble on about irrelevant experiences, leaving the reader lost and confused. There really is no rule about how long a resume should be, but the standard length, if you have a few years of work experience, is usually two pages. If you have an extensive listing of career development or special projects, it is acceptable to make reference by indicating “A comprehensive listing of career development courses is available upon request.” You can then devise a separate listing which is ready and available should an employer make a request 3. Decluttering Your Resume in 5 Steps In preparation for a job search, you dust off your old resume and tack on your most recent job, new skills and training. But without editing or deleting old information, your resume becomes a hodgepodge of outdated accomplishments, awards and skills. It’s time to declutter your resume. To clean up your act, follow these five steps: Step 1: Narrow Your Career Goal Tom Kelly, president of Executive Recruiting Solutions, says many job seekers’ biggest problem is not being sure of what they want to do, adding that it’s particularly an issue for those branching out into new careers or industries. “The resume starts to lose focus,” he says. “A whole bunch of extra stuff ends up in it in order to try to appeal to a wider range of employers or industries.” Kelly recommends limiting your resume’s focus or creating more than one version if you have multiple target jobs. “It’s best to declutter the resume by targeting one to three industries, max,” Kelly says. This makes it easier to consolidate down to relevant content. Step 2: Condense Your Opening Summary Les Gore, managing partner of Executive Search International, recommends including a qualifications summary near the top of your resume. “Tell me a little about your background,” he says. “Don’t go overboard, and don’t overdo the selling. Be succinct and descriptive in terms of your experience and collective knowledge.” And forget about crafting lofty mission statements or “me-focused” objectives that talk about wanting a fulfilling career with opportunity for growth, advises Harvey Band, managing partner of recruiting firm Band & Gainey Associates. “You’re wasting page space with that, and you’re wasting your time and mine,” he says. “Use the top third of the page to communicate your most recent experience and your most impressive accomplishments. Get my attention. Then I’ll keep reading.” Step 3: Edit Work Experience Your resume’s experience section should provide an overview of your career chronology and a few highlights of key accomplishments for your most recent work experience. For professionals on an established career track, this may mean summarizing experience more than 10 to 15 years old into an “early career” section. “I like to see summaries of earlier careers versus long, detailed explanations,” says Kelly, who recommends job seekers provide brief, one-line descriptions of earlier positions. “You don’t have to list every job that you’ve had out of college on your resume.” Gore agrees. “Often, I see way too much information on responsibilities and not enough on the accomplishments,” says Gore, who reviews hundreds of resumes each month. Although he finds it helpful for candidates to provide a brief overview of the range of their responsibilities, Gore recommends these details be summarized in just a few sentences. When trying to weed accomplishments for space reasons, think numbers. “Take a hard look at what you’re saying,” Band says. “If you can’t back it up with numbers, percentages or quantify it in some other way, then cut it.” Gore also likes the quantitative approach, as does Kelly, who suggests quantified statements have more value to an employer than more general, non quantified accomplishments. Step 4: Consolidate Education The education section is another area where you can gain space when updating your resume. Although detailed information about internships, courses, academic honors and extracurricular activities can be important for new or recent graduates, professionals with four or more years of experience can omit or greatly condense this information, says Kelly. Step 5: Select Your Skills Many job seekers know the importance of keywords. But be careful not to go overboard, cautions Band. Band says if your skills section resembles a laundry list of random terms, you need to do some serious editing. “The best resumes are custom-created for a specific opportunity,” he says. “If you’re targeting your resume, then you don’t need to try to throw in every single skill set that you think might be important.” And now’s a good time to dump outdated technology, too. “Fortran, Cobol and other outdated computer programs need to go,” says Kelly. Not only can you gain some valuable space, but you’ll avoid coming across as a dinosaur. Think like an Employer Throughout each step of the resume-decluttering process, Band advises candidates to address the three key questions employers want your resume to answer: What can you do for me? What have you done before? Can you do it for me again? Once the resume gets you an interview, you need to prepare. 4. Resume Preparation for Teachers Writing a resume is like exercising: You may not look forward to it, but you feel better once it’s done. And like the results of a good workout, a well-presented resume can help you keep your career in shape. But when writing a resume, what works and what doesn’t? We thought we’d turn to Monster members like you for advice. Here are some tips from both job seekers who write resumes and hiring professionals who read them for a living. Keep in mind that like resumes, opinions can vary – what works for one person may not work for you. Title and Objective A strong, descriptive title will help you stand out in a sea of resumes. “Titling your resume ‘Joe’s do-it-all resume’ or ‘1975 hottie looking for a job resume’ gets your resume passed over by a busy recruiter,” says one Monster member who should know -he’s a recruiter himself. “Make the title useful. For instance, ‘Nursing Director, Pediatrics Labor and Delivery’ or ‘IT Telecom Project Manager, Microsoft and Cisco Certified’ or ‘Enterprise Software Sales Manager, Life Sciences’ -enough with the stupid titles we dismiss and make fun of. This is your career we’re talking about.” “Teacher Portfolio: Philosophy of Teaching."
:http://www.theapple.com/careers/articles/1182-philosphy-of-education-in-teaching-portfolio And an objective must get an employer’s attention quickly or it won’t get any attention at all, says a district manager for a wireless company. “I receive hundreds of resumes on a monthly basis,” he says. “Two-thirds of the resumes are rejected due to the applicant having no clear objective in seeking employment with my company. Your resume must grab my attention within the first few words of the objective. It must be clearly written and relevant to the position you are applying for. Take a little extra time and customize the objective to the position you are seeking…. If you cannot sell yourself with your resume, you might not have the opportunity to sell yourself at an interview.” Look and Feel As for typeface, you had definite opinions. “Don’t use Times New Roman font,” advises one seeker. “Your resume will look like everyone else’s. Georgia and Tahoma are both different, professional and pleasant to look at.” But another job seeker’s font advice is more practical: “Use Times New Roman or Arial Narrow instead of other wider fonts to keep your resume to only one (or two) pages and save paper.” Monster Resume Expert Kim Isaacs recommends you use a standard Microsoft Word-installed font so the layout will be consistent when an employer opens your resume. No matter what font you use, she suggests you stick with one per resume. “Also, the type should be large enough to be read on screen without causing eye fatigue,” she says. For the hard copy of your resume, make sure you invest in good paper stock, says one HR professional who has also composed and drafted resumes for professional clients. “Before our prospective employer even takes one glance at our resume, there is something they do first, and that is FEEL it,” she says. “Having handled nearly hundreds of resumes each week, I think most people would be amazed how much notice you can get with a resume on good-quality paper. Sometimes it is not even a conscious thought, just as you shuffle stacks of resumes from here to there, making all the appropriate piles to serve your needs, you always tend to linger just a little longer over that one resume with paper that feels a little heavier, like the cotton/linen blends or the one that feels just slightly different than normal, like the parchments. You can double the effect if you choose good-quality paper in a professional color other than white.” Length When President Lincoln was asked how long a man’s legs should be, he said they should be able to reach from a man’s body to the floor. Likewise, your resume should be long enough to sell you properly without overstating your accomplishments. But of course, you had opinions on this, too. The consensus on resume length is simple: Keep it short. There are exceptions, though. “Never exceed one page, unless you have 15-plus years of experience and are applying for a job in upper management,” advises one job seeker. “Make sure that your resume remains one page and formatted properly, even when viewed in different formats and different views — if someone opens your resume in a view other than the one you created it in and sees a hanging line, it looks unprofessional.” Style and Grammar Finally, it may seem like grade-school advice, but it bears repeating: “Although I try to counsel people on how to write a raving resume and an awesome cover letter, I’m consistently shocked at how many resumes and cover letters I receive from people that are plagued with misspelled words, grammatical mistakes and basically little or no time spent proofreading prior to sending,” says one Monster member who’s been in the staffing industry for 15-plus years. “In an era when competition seems to be one of an applicant’s worst enemies, it seems that one would want to do everything possible to stand out in the crowd. Trust me: I won’t give a second thought to deleting a resume and/or cover letter that is fraught with mistakes.” 5. Be Proactive Before and After You Send Your Resume You find a promising job listing online. Excited, you send a well-crafted cover letter and resume and wait for a response. Six weeks later, you’re still waiting, your enthusiasm has waned, and you’ve concluded your resume has fallen into a black hole. A proactive approach to your job search can improve your chances of landing interviews. These six tips will help maximize your success. Make Contact before Sending Your Resume Unless you’re responding to an ad that requests “no phone calls,” try to contact the hiring manager before you send your resume. Even if you don’t know the name of the person handling the search, you can do a bit of investigation to locate the correct person, if you know the employer. Once you get the person on the phone, be brief. The purpose of your call is to express enthusiasm about the opportunity, and that you can positively contribute to the team. Be prepared with a short pitch about your qualifications and the ways you could benefit the employer. Keep the focus on the employer, not you. If you don’t get to speak with the hiring manager, find out who the recruiter is in charge of hiring for the position as well as the correct spelling of his name. Send Your Cover Letter with a Promise of Action Conclude your letter with something similar to, “I will follow up with you in a few days to discuss the possibility of an interview. In the meantime, please feel free to contact me at ______.” If you say you will follow up, make sure you do. Follow Up Quickly on All Resumes You Send Follow up within three to five business days. You can follow up by phone or by email if replying to a blind ad or the ad specifies no calls. When following up by phone, try saying something like, “Hi, my name is ______ and I submitted my resume for your ______ opening. I’m extremely interested in this opportunity, and I just wanted to touch base with you on how I can benefit your operation…” If you are following up by email, your message should be brief. Here’s an example: Dear Name (or “Hiring Manager” if name is unknown): I recently applied for your _____ opening, and I just wanted to follow up to make sure my resume was received. My strong background in ______, ______ and ______ appears to be an excellent match to the qualifications you are seeking, and I am very interested in your opportunity. I realize you may not yet be at the interview stage, but I am more than happy to answer any preliminary questions you may have, and I can be reached at ______. Thank you for your time and kind consideration._ Sincerely, Be Purposeful in Your Subsequent Follow-Up Contacts If several weeks pass after your initial follow-up without word from the employer, initiate another call or email. Your purpose for following up could be to find out if a timeline has been established for interviews or to leave an alternate contact number if you will be traveling. As always, be polite, professional and respectful. Keep a Contact Log Your follow-up attempts will be much easier if you keep a contact log of all positions to which you apply. Your log should include a copy of the ad for the position (don’t rely on a job posting URL, as jobs can be removed from the Web), the file name of the resume and cover letter you sent, contact dates, names of hiring managers and a summary of information you gleaned during your contact with them. Don’t Be a Pest Repeated follow-ups are tricky. Unless you are confident that you can walk the fine line between being persistent and becoming a pest, exercise restraint after your third or fourth follow-up contact. Don’t give up hope if your follow-up efforts don’t yield immediate results. Depending on the employer, industry, specific job and number of responses, the time between the application closing date and the day interview invitations are issued can be as long as several months. 6. Writing Effective Cover Letters Cover letters are all about first impressions; whether they are good or bad, they last. This is why the development of your cover letter is critical to your job search – it is used as your first introduction to a potential employer. It is important to understand that your resume and cover letter are the ONLY thing representing you in your absence. Your cover letter should be no longer than one page. The letter should “plant the seed” that creates interest in the reader. It should maintain an “upbeat” pace, by making the information exciting – it helps to use vivid language. Let your personality shine through, as this is an advertisement about you, no one else. Whatever you do, don’t make a canned letter — it shows you don’t have the time or interest to make it unique. Why do you need a cover letter when you have a resume? Simple. Using a cover letter, if it is prepared correctly, will dramatically increase your chance of securing an interview. You see, cover letters are marketing tools and they capture interest – enough to get an interviewer to review your resume. Rather than being ignored, your resume becomes the highlight! 7. Nail Your Next Cover Letter Writing personalized cover letters is a quick way to get ahead of other applicants John and Linda applied for the same job. They were equally qualified, and each submitted an excellent resume that emphasized accomplishments, training, positive work ethic and dedication. John included a general cover letter that outlined his career history and aspirations. To save time, he used the same letter to apply for every job opening he looked at. Linda put more effort into her letter. She found out the hiring manager’s name and addressed him directly. She researched the company and learned about its mission, past performance, goals and corporate culture. She also studied the job description and clearly spelled out how she is an excellent match for that particular opening. Linda backed up her claims by highlighting examples of her past success. Although the candidates were equally qualified, Linda’s extra effort landed her a job interview. John never got called. Research Before You Write The more you know about the employer’s needs, the more compelling your letter can be. Review company Web sites, brochures, sales flyers and other promotional materials to glean pertinent information. If possible, speak with current employees to get the inside scoop. Search newspaper archives, public libraries and career-center resources. Do a keyword search using the company name and see what turns up. Determine Your Unique Selling Points With the knowledge that you have about the employer, how would you help achieve organizational goals? Set yourself apart: If there are 100 other applicants vying for the same position, why should the hiring manager take a chance on you? Write a list of the top five reasons why you’re an excellent candidate. Construct Your Letter Heading/Date/Inside Address: If you are writing a traditional (not email) letter, select a standard business-letter format such as block style. Your letter’s design should match your resume (See example below). Salutation: It’s best to address your letter to a specific person (e.g., “Dear Ms. Jones:”), but use “Dear Hiring Manager,” if there’s no way to find that out. Use “Dear Search Committee:” if the decision will be made by committee. Avoid stale salutations such as “Dear Sir/Madam:” and “To Whom it May Concern:.” Opening Paragraph: Hiring managers are busy and do not care to wade through fluff. Your opening paragraph should clearly state the position for which you’re applying. Include a reference code if requested and the referral source (e.g., recommendation from a current employee, Monster, etc.). Your opening may also include a synopsis of why you are a top candidate for the position: Your position advertised on Monster is an excellent fit with my qualifications, as the enclosed resume will attest. My background includes 10 years of success managing international sales programs, top-ranked regions and Fortune 500 accounts. I offer particular expertise in the high tech sector, with in-depth knowledge of networking technology… Body: Your letter’s body contains the sales pitch. This is your chance to outline the top reasons why you’re worthy of an interview. When writing the body text, keep in mind that hiring managers are self-centered — they want to know what you can do for them, not learn about your life story. Demonstrate how your credentials, motivation and track record would benefit their operation. Review your top five selling factors (the ones you jotted down when doing your company research) and weave them into the body, perhaps as a bulleted list. Back up achievements with specific examples of how your performance benefited current and former employers. Precede your bulleted list with a statement such as “Highlights of my credentials include:” or “Key strengths I offer include:.” Keep your letter positive and upbeat. This is not the place to write a sob story about your employment situation. Put yourself in the hiring manager’s shoes — would you call yourself in for an interview? Closing Paragraph: Your final paragraph should generate a call for action, so express your strong interest in an interview and state that you will follow up soon to confirm your resume was received and discuss the possibility of meeting face-to-face. Complimentary Close and Your Name: End with a professional close such as “Best regards,” “Sincerely” or “Respectfully yours.” 8. How to Handle the 6 Toughest Interview Questions Equipped with a stunning resume, you are ready to secure that perfect teaching position. Now it is time for the next step: the dreaded interview. This step however, does not have to be an intimidating or nerve-racking experience. By taking some time to prepare, you can achieve the successful results you want. There are many questions that will be asked during the interview. Many interviews last 45 minutes or longer… so you must be prepared for a variety of questions. Recognizing that situations for every candidate may vary, the responses to each question will serve to provide you with some general guidelines. First and foremost, it is important to conduct extensive research on the district or school’s needs in order to respond to interview questions thoroughly and competently. 1. What are your biggest weaknesses? 2. How do you handle classroom discipline? 3. Why do you want to work for our school district? 4. How would you describe a successful principal? 5. What are your thoughts on team-teaching? 6. Do you have any questions for us? 1 - What are your biggest weaknesses? Your response could include something that may have been a challenge in the past, and you have taken steps to rectify the problem. It is also important to be honest, they will be testing your honesty … and they also want to see what concerns they should be aware of. The key to answering the question is to turn a negative into a positive. I don’t suggest using that traditional, “I’m a perfectionist”, as it is often overused, and will tend to sound phony. It is also important that you don’t get defensive and try to justify why you are weak in a particular subject area, such as social studies. This would make a bad impression, because it may be relevant to the position that you are seeking. Whatever you decide to use, ensure it is not one of the key skills of the position you are seeking. In other words, don’t pinpoint classroom discipline and/management or subject area. Think of this question as an opportunity to sell yourself. Here is an example: You wouldn’t say, “I have a difficult time organizing my day.” Instead, rephrase the answer by saying. “There are so many creative activities I plan for my students and class time is limited. It is difficult to incorporate all of the activities that I would like my students to learn from. Overtime, I have realized to prioritize what lessons are the most important to enhance my student learning. I now realize that I can’t do everything I would like to.” The above example shows you are excited about designing new and creative lessons for your students. In their mind, this will not be a negative. It will position you that much closer to getting a job offer. 2 - How do you handle classroom discipline? For obvious reasons everyone will have a different answer; it will depend on your teaching style, grade interviewing for, and past experiences. The interviewer will be looking to see if you have a plan, you know how to implement it, and if you think that discipline is an important part of the position. What I have found from coaching clients is they fail to provide a clear action plan that can be backed up with examples. Also it is important to find out what is the philosophy of the school or district, this will give you some additional information. A few things to bring up when answering this question is the following: It is important to develop ground rules the first week of class, this allows the students to understand what is and isn’t acceptable behavior. These rules are discussed and agreed upon with the students, this makes the students accountability and responsible. You may want to touch on your philosophy of classroom discipline. This of course would depend on your style; you will have to be honest with yourself. But you may believe that you reduce negative behavior by offering the students a intellectually stimulating, organized, and respectful environment. You will want to get an example of your plan; use a real situation to show your expertise in this very important area. Whether you use the red light/green light, time-outs, or removing the student from the classroom, it is important that you can back up why it is effective and use examples. You will want to explain why you feel the discipline action is effective and why you enjoy using it. It is also important to indicate there are always two sides to every story, so if the action involves discipline of two students, you must listen to both sides. Indicate that you try to get the students to resolve their own disagreements, which may involve compromise. And end the discussion by asking them, “How will you handle the situation next time?” Again, you must be honest when answering this question or any other question during the interview, but by organizing your thoughts and stories will make your response concise, truthful, and show your skills to the district. Let’s imagine an interview for a grade one teaching position wherein the interviewer asks: “Describe your classroom’s physical appearance.” Having prepared ahead of time, you understand the interviewer[s] attempt to determine: 1. Your teaching style 2. Your ability to effectively manage the class 3. The level and quality of student interaction 4. Your teaching philosophy, Within this context, you might respond: “Upon entering my classroom you will find a lively and colorful room wholly centered upon children and active learning. Sight words, the alphabet, numbers, and inspirational quotes cover the walls while large bulletin boards proudly display student’s work. A large area contains a carpeted reading or group corner specifically for storytelling, show-and-tell, weather discussions and calendar and day-of-the-week conversations. This classroom includes an abundance of age appropriate reading materials as well as student mailboxes wherein children place personal journals, home reading books and workbooks in the morning and then collect newsletters or other parent communication at the end of the day.” NOTE: Presenting floor plans successfully used in the past demonstrates strong organization and preparation skills. Indicate various potential seating plans used throughout the year and offer pictures of your old classrooms as a way means to provide the principal and interviewing board a first-hand view of your potential classroom…As the saying goes, “a picture is worth a thousand words.” Remember, each person’s answer will vary depending upon teaching style and philosophy. The district will look to see if your style is compatible with their needs; thus, thoroughly researching each specific district provides the key to successfully meet these needs. 3 - Why do you want to work for our school district? Your preparation and research is imperative to successfully answer this question. Provide a few reasons why you’re interested in the school or district, and what in particular sparked your interest. What is your personal experience with the school or district? What do you know about its student body, faculty members, industry reputation, community involvement, educational goals and objectives, upcoming initiatives, demographics, or extracurricular activities? This information will help you to accurately respond to the above question. The word accurate is important – don’t answer the questions by using old information The interviewer is looking for evidence that you really know why you want to work there or did you just send out applications and hope for the best. This research will also help immensely when answering other questions throughout the interview, so plan to dedicate some time and energy doing this homework. Effective research will help to tailor your answers, without being deceiving, to the question above. It is wrong to tailor your answer with incorrect information – preparation and honesty is the key to a successful interview. 4 - How would you describe a successful principal? By asking this question, the hiring committee is attempting to assess the following: Do you understand what traits contribute to the success of a principal. As a teacher, what traits do you value most? Your response may indicate or suggest possible conflicts with the current principal. Responses to this question may include: It is important that a successful principal… Have a vision and a plan to reach that vision…combined with the ability to bring faculty members together to form a cooperative team and motivate them to reach district goals and objectives. Be visible… the principal’s presence should be evident on a continual basis. He or she must be easily accessible to both students and teachers. Has a great sense of humor, and can relate well to a diverse group of individuals. Genuinely cares about the students, teachers, parents, and the district. 5 - What are your thoughts on team-teaching? I am sure many of you have participated in team-teaching and realize the benefits of this strategy. The interviewer who asks this question wants to discover, if you are flexible, enjoy working in a team environment, have experience in this area, and what your viewpoints are on the subject. It is always wise to speak about some of the positive aspects of team-teaching, such as: It is an effective strategy for teaching large groups of students. It is a method for teachers to collaborate in generating ideas … two heads is always better than one! Talk about team-teaching experiences you have had, and the positive results that transpired. If you haven’t had any hands-on experience, you may explain that you enjoy working in a team setting and are excited about the possibility of participating in this approach. OR, maybe you have done some reading on the subject and can share some of the insights you gained with the interviewer … this will definitely be impressive! 6 - Do you have any questions for us? An interview isn’t just about responding to the prospective employer’s questions; it is an opportunity for you to impress the panel with examples of your foresight regarding the position they are offering. By asking questions, you can also determine if the fit is right, it shows your interest in the position, and helps to develop rapport. If you feel comfortable, and the interviewer seems amenable, you may ask questions at appropriate times throughout the interview. Once you have been in the interview for a few minutes, you will start to get a feel for your comfort level in this regard. If you don’t ask questions during the interview, you will most likely be given the chance to do so at the end of the interview … so be sure to take advantage of this great opportunity! So what questions should you ask? First, only ask questions you cannot get answers to through your research, for example, by investigating, you may easily determine how many students attend the school — so, think of a different question to ask. Be sure you think carefully about what questions you would like answer … make them genuine … and recognize that it is always advantageous to ask questions. Remember, don’t try to dominate the interview with your questions, keep in mind your position as the interviewee. A good idea is to practice asking the questions you created in front of a mirror the day before the interview. Then, write your questions down on a professional pad of paper or an index card and bring them to the interview. Some suggestions of appropriate questions are provided here … ask them only if they are not addressed in the interview and if you don’t have access to the answers. If the questions are structured correctly, you will provide yourself with a further opportunity to sell yourself, for example; “I am very interested in team sports, what extracurricular activities are available for teacher participation?” What does this show the interviewer? You are a team player and are willing to participate in extra-curricular activities. 9. Creating a Teaching Portfolio A teaching portfolio can be a great interview asset. What is a teaching portfolio? A teaching portfolio is a history of your teaching career and continual work in progress. Why Do I need a teaching portfolio? Many school systems require that you build your portfolio from year to year to show progress. Prospective employers may use a teaching portfolio to get to know you better. How is a teaching portfolio constructed? Introduction On the cover page of the portfolio, include your name, current position, subject area specialty, and certification status. This should be followed by your most current resume. Teaching Philosophy To help others get to a clearer picture of your teaching style, write a brief philosophy of how you approach education. History For prospective employers, be sure to include a list of all grades and subjects taught previously, as well as the locations and names of the schools. Also include positions of leadership or committees that you held at previous schools, as this will be important for helping employers identify strengths. Professional Development Organize your professional development activities into an easy list that includes college courses taken, workshops or conferences attended, grant-funded projects, and professional memberships in which you are actively involved. In this section, you may also include a professional growth plan or professional goals for your career. Teaching Evidence Throughout the school year, think about items to collect and add to your teaching portfolio to represent the year. Items may include: • Classroom Pictures/Activities • Sample Lesson Plans and Assessment Rubrics • Evidence of Student Achievement/Progress • Technology Integration • Examples of Differentiated Instruction • Innovative Strategies • Cross-Curricular Projects • Positive Communication with Parents/Colleagues • Administration Evaluations and Observations Since a teaching portfolio is a work in progress, be sure to date items appropriately for easy reference and update often. Each year I kept a folder designated for my teaching portfolio to slip things into as I came across them. If you don’t have time during the school year to update your portfolio, the summer can be a great time to make all changes necessary. General Teaching Career Tips 1. Is a Career in Teaching for You? Is a Career in Teaching for You? Whether you’re a college student looking for something worthwhile to do with your life after graduation, or you hate your job selling widgets because there’s no meaning in it, chances are good someone will suggest teaching as an option. Should you be attracted by the seductive statistic that one-third of the teaching force is over 50 and will leave many openings when they retire? That depends. It depends on whether your interests, passions, personal style and life goals fit with teaching. The following information might help you make an informed decision. What’s so great about teaching? Make a Difference Do you remember which teachers had a positive impact on you, and which ones took a sledgehammer to your confidence and desire to learn? You could be one of the positive ones. Autonomy Except for your student teaching, your first year on the job and a few visitations per year after that, what you do in the classroom is up to you. If you have a neat idea, there’s no boss to run it by. Family-Friendly Schedules What could be better than having holidays and summers to be with the folks you love and do what you enjoy? Creativity and Innovation If you’re the dull and overly obedient type, you might not want to go into teaching. But if you love to dream up new ways to present material, think about things or make learning fun, then the classroom is for you. Your Classroom’s Your Stage You spend your days with an audience that may think you’re wonderful. If performing is fun for you and you believe you know things that can make a difference in some kids’ lives, then you probably owe yourself some time in front of the chalkboard. Then why wouldn’t you want to be a teacher? Money If you stay in the classroom, the cap on your income will probably be about $75,000. If you’re frugal, that could do nicely—provided you don’t cave in to envy of your college classmates’ business salaries. Safety Can Be an Issue It’s still more dangerous to drive to school than to stand in a classroom, but some teachers find cops roaming the halls and metal detectors at the door unnerving. Teaching Isn’t for the Timid If you love learning but can’t stand the thought of being on stage all the time, either in front of your class or herding kids through a lunch line or a field trip, then you’d be asking for a lot of unnecessary stress. Some Schools Are Depressing You can tell the minute you walk into a class whether the atmosphere is an upper or a downer. There’s no more invigorating place than a school where kids are eagerly learning and actively involved with teachers and other professionals. In teachers’ lounges in other schools, it’s like the night of the living dead, with people who mentally checked out of the profession years ago. Social Worker/Teacher In many schools, you’re also a triage nurse for multi-problem families. If that challenge speaks to you, then it’s wonderful. But some teachers go home each night burdened with the seeming hopelessness of the baggage their young charges carry around with them. The most important thing to remember is that you should only pursue a teaching career if you really want to, not because it’s convenient or there are openings. If you can keep a class interested in what you’re teaching, handle the different learning styles of 30 kids and help the lonely kid in the last row connect with somebody who’ll be his friend, then you might just make a difference in many young lives. 2. How to Prepare for Teaching All teachers in public schools must have a teaching certificate, a license to teach. Some are licensed to teach preschool through grade 3. Others are licensed to teach grades 1 through 6 or 8. Some are licensed to teach middle school or high school. Some have a license to teach a special subject. You must have a college degree to be a teacher, unless you are teaching a job skill like how to fix cars. You must take classes in education and practice teaching with the help of an experienced teacher. To be a teacher, you must pass tests in reading, writing, and other subjects. And you have to keep learning. In some States, you have to get a master’s degree. You also need computer training in some States. Teachers must be able to talk to children and be good leaders. The students must trust them. Teachers must be able to make students want to learn. They also should be organized, dependable, patient, and creative. 3. Transitioning into an Education Career Have you been sitting back recently, contemplating your future and where you are headed? Are you thinking about changing your career, but not exactly sure where to start? Well, I’m here to tell you that you are certainly not alone. As a Certified Career Coach and Resume Writer, I often work with individuals who are looking for a rewarding career change, guiding them on their path to a successful life change. When you have discovered that your once-rewarding and satisfying job no longer provides you with the same excitement and enthusiasm, it may be the time to consider a career change. Complete commitment to this pursuit will open you up to endless career possibilities. During the course of my career I have worked with many individuals who wanted to change careers and embark on a new challenge, teaching children. I have heard many reasons why mid-career changers are drawn to a career in education, and have ventured to list a few examples. 1. Giving Back to Society: Many successful professionals have often embraced a career in teaching in order to “give back” to society. They often want to teach the real-world experiences they have learned through hands-on participation in a particular field. 2. Mentoring & Guiding: Often career changers choose teaching as a means to coach and lead today’s youth and fosters in them a passion for learning. 3. Sharing Knowledge & Passion: I have found that most career changers bring a high level of enthusiasm and dedication as new educators, combined with a solid understanding of diverse subject material. Beginning the search for a new career can be overwhelming and a bit frightening, to say the least. However, here are a few things that you will want to consider before embarking on your journey: 1. Retraining & Professional Development: Going back to school will give you a chance to learn your new career and provide you with a greater understanding of the role and how to sustain employment within that area. 2. Interchangeable Skills: Take a solid look at your skills and determine those that can be applied across different careers. For example, teachers must possess the ability to be creative, organized, disciplined, and self-directed; if you have these skills, showcase them. 3. Maximizing Your Skill Set/You’re Resume: Your resume must emphasize your relevant past career achievements and contributions; be proud to list each and every one. Learn what a school district is looking for in their teachers; their goals and objectives and where they are headed. Once you have drafted your resume, get feedback from someone you trust. 4. Envision the Position: You may want to envision how you look in the role of your new position, working within that venue day after day. Ask yourself, what parts of the job do I like the best? Am I really interested? Performing this exercise may help you find your right career path. Focus on the skills you enjoy using the most, and build a career based soundly on your passions and your dreams. The process of looking for and finding your new career is a huge opportunity for you to develop deeper self-awareness, and it may just be the thing that supercharges your zest for life. 4. Make the Most of an Educational Job Fair An Educational Job Fair is a great way to meet potential employers, and find out vital information about different school districts. I have put together a few ideas to keep in mind in order to make your Educational Job Fair a successful experience. PREPARING BEFORE THE JOB FAIR: 1. Keep a positive approach: It is important to focus on the benefits of a job fair. You will learn about school districts, find out about potential job opportunities, and have the opportunity to determine what it is that you want in a potential employment position. 2. Review and update your resume: Ensure that your resume is current and professional. You should have at least 20 or 30 copies to hand out. Additionally, you may want more than one style (i.e., Accomplishments or Chronological Resume). 3. Be prepared: Ensure you have reviewed the list of school districts, explore their Web sites, and spend some time gathering information as it will show your enthusiasm and genuine interest. 4. Know your career goals: Be prepared to answer questions regarding your career goals and where you see yourself within the next five years. 5. Prepare questions to ask: You will want to ask specific information on the school district, their goals, and their mission statement. As well, you will want to ask about the positions available and career development opportunities. WHILE AT THE JOB FAIR: 1. Relax and enjoy: Remember you have already prepared for this great event. Now is the time to create a positive impression. 2. Meet and Greet: Introduce yourself to district representatives and remember to establish and maintain solid eye contact. Present a firm handshake and have your polished resume ready to hand out. 3. Remain positive and friendly: Keep your energy level high and remember that even though you are repeating the same thing to each person, the information is new to each individual. 4. Maintain good notes: Take comprehensive notes as the representatives at the job fair may not be able to answer all of your questions. Keep the names, and phone number of those you may want to contact later. Make sure you ask for representative’s business cards. 5. Discuss your skills: Be prepared to discuss your skills, interests, background, and career objectives. You need to sell yourself, so be ready to discuss your benefits and advantages. Note your key features that make you stand out from the others. There are several Educational Job Fairs that are held throughout the U.S., and simply by searching the Internet, and contacting the nearest school district, you will find vital information that will identify people and places. Questions That Are Essential It is true that attending a Job Fair could be one of the best moves you could make to secure a career within the educational field. However, it is also important to know just the right questions to ask while you are networking with potential employers. Below, you will find a list of questions that will assist you: QUESTIONS TO ASK: About the District 1. I am interested in your school district because…….could you provide me with idea of what you are looking for in a successful candidate? 2. Please tell me what type of experience you are looking for? 3. What challenges do you see for your school district? 4. What are the areas of strength within your school district? 5. What do you like most about your school district? 6. Are there immediate openings in your school district? If so, in what areas? If not, do you anticipate opening in the future? 7. Do you have substitute or summer teaching opportunities? 8. Considering my particular interest in teaching, are there other individuals in the district that I should contact? 9. What advice would you give someone who wants to secure a teaching position within your district? 10. Are there opportunities for career development within your school district? About Recruitment 1. Do you hire on a continual basis or only during certain times of year? 2. How should I follow up if I am interested in pursuing employment with your district? 3. Can you give me an address and telephone number for the person I should speak with about teaching opportunities, or can you forward my resume to the individual? After your long and successful day of networking, it is important to make notes about the districts while they are still fresh and easy to recall. Ensure you follow-up with thank you notes to identified recruiters that were helpful to you, and those that you are particularly interested in. Devise a tracking system for future follow up. A little time invested could bring you a lifetime of career satisfaction. B- The Interview Guide for Teachers If you are preparing for an interview in the field of education, you know that teaching interviews can be comprehensive and very different from interviews in the corporate world. In order to make a good impression on the school where you’ve applied, you’ll want to do your homework. We’ve compiled articles written specifically to help teachers in the interview process. 1. Teacher Interview Tips and Advice 2. 10 Secrets to a Perfect Teaching Interview 3. Three Steps to Prepare You for Your Next Teacher Interview 4.100 Teacher Interview Questions 5. How to Answer 6 Common Teacher Interview Questions 6. Do You Really NEED a Teaching Portfolio? 7. Five Insider Tips for a Successful Interview 8. Teacher Interview: Common Sense and Professional Advice 1. Teacher Interview Tips and Advice This is the culmination of several years of hard work. You’ve finished college. You’re done with your student teaching and you’ve passed all of your teacher certification examinations. The applications, resumes, and cover letters have been sent out to every local school district. All you can do now is sit around the house and wait for the phone to ring, right? Wrong! You should be preparing for your interview! I’ve been to the interview table several times as a candidate and many more times as an interviewer. If there were any tricks, secrets, or shortcuts to success in the interviewing process, I haven’t discovered them. My only sound advice for candidates is to come to the interview prepared. You should have your teaching portfolio in-hand and you should be ready to talk about anything and everything that relates to you, your background, and your philosophies on education. The best candidates know how to teach, they know how to articulate their teaching beliefs, and most of the time, they already know what types of questions will be asked before the interview even begins. It’s easy for an interviewer to spot an unprepared candidate. Candidates who have not practiced basic interview questions beforehand are unnaturally nervous. They shift in their seats more. They begin most answers with the word, “uhhhhh.” There are long pauses while interviewers wait for the candidate to process the question and think up an answer. They get confused by basic educational jargon that they learned in college. Almost every teaching interview includes similar, common questions. In order to be a prepared candidate, all you have to do is practice answering the most common questions before you go to the interview. (See the practice interview questions chapter in my book to review the 45 most commonly asked questions.) If you prepare beforehand, the interview questions will seem routine and familiar. There are no tricks or shortcuts; if you do your homework you will perform well. Body language can show whether you’re a confident, qualified teacher or an unsure one. At the interview, be confident, but not cocky. Smile when you walk in. Greet the people interviewing you with a smile and a nod. Firmly shake the hand of the principal and other interviewers that are within easy reach. When you take your seat, sit up straight with your feet on the floor and your hands in a relaxed position on the desk. Have a mild sense of humor. Prepare to make some humorous small talk when you are greeted. For example, if a principal shakes your hand and asks how you are, it’s okay to say, “A nervous wreck!” A whimsical introduction can break the ice. Be sure your sense of humor is clean and appropriate for an interview. Have a teaching portfolio ready. Your portfolio should contain extra copies of your resume, a copy of your teaching certificate, sample lesson plans, samples of student work, and any other evidence that shows you are a qualified candidate for a teaching position. It should be bound in a neat, professional-looking leather binder. (See the teaching portfolio chapter in my book for more information.) Place the portfolio in front of you when you sit down at the interview table. Usually, the people interviewing you will not ask to see your portfolio. They do, however, expect you to have it on-hand. Don’t wait for anyone to mention the portfolio. Instead, you should use it as a tool to describe your teaching experiences. For example, if you are asked to describe a lesson that involves teaching writing, you might say, “Yes, I can show you! I have a sample of student work that shows how I teach the writing process.” The first question at almost every interview will be: “Tell us about yourself.” You should already know what you’re going to say. Keep your answer reasonably brief. You can talk about the college you attended and provide an overview of your teaching experience. Always be positive. Try not to say, “I don’t know.” Avoid saying, “I’m not really good at…” Don’t say, “That’s one of my weak points.” Always tell the truth, but you don’t want to suggest that you’re not a confident, successful, qualified teacher. If you honestly don’t know the answer to a question, you might ask the interviewer to restate it in a different way, or you might want to give the best answer you can based on your knowledge and experiences. Use lots of examples when you answer questions. When they ask how you would do something, tell them how you have already done it. This will make you seem more experienced. For example, if an interviewer asks, “How would you use creative problem-solving in your lessons?” You might answer with, “When I was student teaching, I did a great creative problem-solving lesson when…” When you use specific examples, you’re convincing the interviewers that you’re more than just hypothetical talk. The final question of your interview will most likely be, “Do you have any questions for us?” Be prepared with a thoughtful question ahead of time. While this is probably not the most important question of the interview, it is your last chance to leave a positive impression. Rather than answering with, “Not really,” you should ask something philosophical or complimentary. You might ask the interviewer why they are proud of their school or what the people you’ll be working with are like. Since your interviewers will probably be meeting with lots of candidates, you should use the opportunity to ask a question and make yourself stand out. And, think about it: You’ve been on the hot seat answering their questions for 45 minutes. You’ve earned the right to turn the table, even if it is just for a moment. When you leave, the interviewers will, of course, be talking about you. They’ll be filling out little forms rating your experience, qualifications, communication skills, and personality. At the end of the day, they will have about a dozen of these forms sitting on the desk. They’ll look through them all and the chosen candidates will be the ones who were the most memorable, most qualified, and most prepared for the meeting. With some time and effort, that candidate can be you. 2. 10 Secrets to a Perfect Teaching Interview Are you nervous about your next interview for a teaching job? Don’t be! Just remember these 10 secrets to a perfect interview! 1. Have a teaching portfolio that is filled with lesson plans and student work samples. I know it takes a great deal of time to assemble a teaching portfolio, but your hard work will pay off. Instead of just telling them you’re a great teacher, you can use your portfolio to show interviewers the exciting lessons you’ve used to teach children in the past. 2. Practice sample interview questions before you go to the interview. Interview questions aren’t usually unique. In fact, the same questions will be asked at almost every interview. Do a Google search to find common teacher interview questions and practice your responses beforehand. (50 common interview questions and answers are also available in my eBook, which can be downloaded from: http://www.iwantateachingjob.com) 3. Be sure you dress professionally. You’d be surprised at how much your clothing matter. If you dress to casually, the interviewers may not believe that you’re taking the interview seriously enough. 4. Make eye contact with all of the interviewers at the table, not just the principal. I’ve sat in on many interview committees and have noticed that many candidates look directly at the principal and seem to ignore the rest of the panel. Be sure you make eye contact with everyone at the table. 5. Project a friendly, bubbly, positive, and outgoing personality. Interview committees are looking for friendly people to be on their staff. While your teaching credentials are important, you need to remember that the interview committee is also looking for someone with a positive person that is easy to get along with. If they can see your glowing personality shine through, they are more likely to want you at their school. 6. Research the school district beforehand. Visit the district’s website to find out their philosophy of education. Also, research information about the types of students that you will be teaching, the community, and the subjects being taught there. 7. Be sure your educator vocabulary is up-to-date. Be sure you’re familiar with educational jargon and teaching acronyms. All of those big vocabulary words you learned in college may come back to haunt you at the interview. If you’re asked about differentiated instruction, IEPs, Everyday Math, NCLB, or ELL students, you don’t want to be the candidate that responds with, “Huh?” 8. Use lots of specific examples when you discuss your teaching experiences. Want to seem like an experienced professional? Whenever an interviewer asks you how you would do something, tell them how you have already been doing it. If you use words like, “I would like to…” or “I might try to…” or “I could…”, then you will seem inexperienced. Instead, say things like, “When I was student teaching, I…” or “When I taught __, I would…” or “One thing I always do is…” This will help to emphasize and highlight your expereince. 9. Prepare a good question to ask at the end of the interview. Your questions should be complimentary to the school and open-ended. Try to prepare a question that will require the interviewer to think, rather than just provide you with a one-word answer. Thoughtful questions will leave a lasting impression. 10. Don’t forget to mail your thank you letter right away! Whether you send a greeting card or a formal business letter, be sure you thank the interviewers for meeting with you. You letter should express your appreciation, compliment the school environment, and invite the interviewers to contact you again. 3. Three Steps to Prepare You for Your Next Teacher Interview It’s natural for people to get nervous before and during a big interview. Sure, you know you’re a good teacher. You’ve graduated from college with a teaching degree and you’ve worked with students in the past. So, WHY are you nervous? It’s those pesky little questions, isn’t it? If you’re like most people, you’re probably afraid they’ll ask you a difficult question and you’ll be giving them a blank look. If the questions don’t make you nervous, maybe it’s the vocabulary that scares you. Sometimes interviewers like to throw out intimidating jargon – those big words you used to see in college textbooks. You might be afraid you won’t know how to answer a question about differentiation, IEPs, ELL students, or block scheduling. Or, maybe you know the vocabulary well, and you’re not afraid of the questions. Are you fearful that you will not be able to prove that you’re a successful teacher? Do you have trouble putting yourself up on a pedestal and showing off your successes? Well, the good news is that all three of these fears can be overcome if you prepare yourself well for your next interview. Your nervousness is natural. But the amount of stress you have to endure can be minimized. How? Follow the steps below to prepare and practice for your next teaching interview. Interview Preparation Step #1: Predict what the questions will be and prepare your answers The Internet is filled with sample teacher interview questions. It’s pretty much guaranteed that they’ll ask you about your classroom discipline plan, your ability to work with special education students, your favorite lessons, your strengths, and your weaknesses. As you research sample interview questions. Write them down or print them out. Sometimes you’ll have to think beyond the Internet, though. Questions that relate to your specific age-group or subject may be more difficult to find. Still, if you use some basic logic, you can predict what will be asked. Think to yourself: “If I were hiring someone for this position, what would I ask?” If you teach middle school English, for example, common sense should tell you that they’ll ask you how you teach writing. If you teach high school calculus, chances are good they’ll ask you why Calculus is important for high school students. When you have a list of questions, sit down any try to plan your answer for each. If you have a close friend or family member in education, you might want to discuss your answers with them. Oftentimes, they will have ideas or suggestions that will help you focus your thoughts. No matter how you prepare, simply having an idea of how you will answer common questions will make you a more confident candidate at the interview table. Interview Preparation Step #2: Make a list of popular education buzzwords and acronyms What terminology might be used during the interview? If a principal asks you how you use differentiation, will you be able to tell him/her? Or will you be the candidate that asks, “What do you mean?” If you’re asked how you meet the needs of a student with an IEP, will you be the candidate with the deer-in-the-headlights look? Educational jargon often trips up candidates. It’s embarrassing for candidates at an interview to admit that they’re not familiar with a word or phrase used, yet if they don’t ask for clarification, they risk giving an answer that doesn’t make sense. Here’s what you do: make a list of common educational buzzwords on index cards. (Differentiation. IEP. ELL. Block scheduling. Looping. Four Block Writing. Everyday Mathematics. And so on…) Then, check to see how many of the words you know. One the back of each index card, define each word. Also, in one sentence, relate each vocabulary word to your teaching. Look up any words you don’t know. Interview Preparation Step #3: Assemble a Teaching Portfolio Your teaching portfolio is your professional brag book. Find lots of evidence of your teaching (or student teaching) experiences, and assemble it all in one big, fat binder. It should be chock-full of student work samples, lesson plans, parent newsletters, and philosophy statements. Be sure you have a type-written table-of-contents and dividing tabs so you can easily find information at an interview. When you’re at an interview table, don’t wait for an interviewer to ask to see your portfolio. Instead, be ready to pull out examples of your work whenever something in your portfolio relates to something being asked. Interviewers will be impressed by your organization and preparation. Even more importantly, you’ll be PROVING that you’re an effective teacher, rather than just TELLING them. 4. 100 Teacher Interview Questions
1. First, tell us a little bit about yourself. (Almost every teacher interview begins this way.) 2. Describe your college experiences? 3. Tell us about your experiences working with students at this age level. 4. Describe your philosophy of teaching? 5. Why do you want to become a teacher? 6. List three of your strengths your strengths and explain each one. 7. Describe three of your weaknesses as a teacher. 8. In what ways do you encourage creativity in your classroom? 9. Tell us about a lesson in which you’ve used differentiated instruction. 10. How do you teach kids to utilize higher-order thinking skills in your classroom? 11. What do you do to prepare your students for state or standardized tests? 12. Do you make learning fun for students? How? 13. If I walked into your classroom on a typical afternoon, what would I see going on? 14. How do you measure student performance in your classroom? Are you prepared for your next interview? 15. Describe a successful lesson. Tell why it was successful. 16. What would you do if a student wasn’t handing her homework on a regular basis? 17. How much homework do you give? 18. Besides lecture, what methods of teaching do you use? 19. Tell us about your discipline philosophy. 20. What are your classroom rules? How do you make students familiar with the rules? 21. What daily or weekly routines would be incorporated in your teaching? 22. One student hits another student. What do you do? 23. A student throws a pencil across the room. What do you do? 24. Explain what you would do if a student was swearing in your class? 25. What would you do if a student was complaining about an assignment you’ve given? 26. What would you do if a parent complained about an assignment? 27. Describe some methods of “positive reinforcement” that you might use in your classroom. 28. Would you describe yourself as a “tough” teacher or an “understanding” teacher? Explain. 29. How would you create a behavior modification for a student with ongoing behavior problems? 30. What are some ways you can avoid behavior problems? 31. Without giving any names, describe the most challenging student you’ve ever taught. 32. What would you do to calm an angry parent? 33. Do you have an example of a parent newsletter that you can show us? 34. In what ways do you communicate with parents on a regular basis? 35. A parent calls you because they are worried about their child’s low grades. What would you say to the parent? 36. A parent writes a note and tells you that their daughter could not complete their homework assignment because she had a dance recital the night before. What do you do? 37. How do you keep parents informed of their child’s progress? 38. How do you use technology to enrich your lessons? 39. How computer literate are you? 40. Do you think it is appropriate for children in school to be using the Internet? 41. Give an example of a time when you’ve worked on a team. 42. Describe one time when you’ve acted as a leader. 43. How do you feel about team-teaching? 44. What can you do for a student that is extremely gifted? 45. Describe a gifted student. 46. How would you recommend a child for special education services? 47. Most classes have students with a wide-range of reading abilities. What can you do to meet the needs of students with high reading abilities and low reading abilities at the same time? 48. Tell us a little about your student teaching experiences. 49. What is your least favorite age/grade/subject to teach? Explain. 50. What is your favorite age/grade/subject to teach? Explain. 51. What are some of the most important things you learned when student teaching? 52. What was the most satisfying moment throughout your student teaching? 53. What was the most frustrating thing about student teaching? 54. Describe one college course that taught you the most about being a good teacher. 55. Who influenced you to become a teacher? 56. Describe the biggest challenge you’ve ever had to face. 57. What books are you currently reading? 58. A student confides in you and tells you that his parent abuses him. He asks you not to tell anyone. What do you do? 59. What is your definition of a life-long learner? How can you promote life-long learning in your classroom? 60. Would you be willing to help out with extra-curricular activities? Which ones? 61. Have you ever been a substitute teacher in this school district? 62. What do you look for in a principal? 63. How do you communicate with administrators? 64. Would you like to be part of our new teacher mentor program? 65. What kinds of in services would you be eager to attend? 66. List five adjectives that accurately describe yourself. 67. What professional teaching organizations do you belong to? 68. Have you ever received an award for anything in your lifetime? Describe. 69. Describe the differences between a good teacher and a great teacher? 70. What were you like as a student? 71. If you teach a lesson and your students don’t seem to be “getting it,” what do you do? 72. How do you provide support for students who are not performing as well as they should? 73. What can you do to meet the needs of students who do not speak English? 74. In what ways can you teach students to be accepting of one-another? 75. How would you teach conflict resolution to your students? 76. Name a book that you’d like to read to (or with) your students. Describe the book and tell why you chose it. 77. How do you feel about working in an inclusion classroom? 78. How do you meet the needs of a student with an IEP? 79. How would you teach the writing process? 80. Describe a high-interest project that you might assign to your students. 81. What can you offer our school that other candidates cannot? 82. Do you think you are a flexible person? Explain. 83. What do you like to do when you’re not teaching? Bottom of Form 84. How do you incorporate writing into your curriculum? 85. Can you show us what your lesson plan book would look like? 86. How closely do you follow your lesson plans? 87. Where do you plan to be ten years from now? 88. What part of this job are you looking forward to? 89. What part of this job scares you? 90. In your opinion, what are the biggest challenges that teachers face today? 91. Why do you want to teach in this, particular district? 92. How can you make your teaching connect to students’ real-world experiences? 93. Tell me about your references. Who are they and how do they know you? 94. If I were to call your references, what might they say about you? 95. How can teachers reach out to the community? 96. How do you make sure you are teaching to the state standards? 97. What kinds of materials and supplies would you need to do your job well? 98. How do you feel about noise in your classroom? 99. Show us your portfolio. 100. What questions do you have for us? 5. How to Answer 6 Common Teacher Interview Questions When you get a call from a school administrator inviting you to interview for a teaching job, how do you feel? Happy? Elated? Excited? Nervous? Scared stiff? You don’t need to worry about the interview if you’re a well-prepared, qualified candidate. Preparing for a teaching interview is a lot like studying for a test. You can review commonly asked questions, think about what you’ll say beforehand, and go in to do your best. If you prepare beforehand, the interview questions will seem routine and familiar. You’ll have answers on the tip of your tongue, ready-to-go. Below is a list of six commonly asked teacher interview questions from my eBook, Guide to Getting the Teaching Job of Your Dreams. How would you answer each question? 1. Tell us about yourself. This will be the first question at almost every interview. Just give a brief background in about three sentences. Tell them what colleges you graduated from, what you’re certified to teach, what your teaching & working experiences are, and why you’d love the job. 2. How do you teach to the state standards? If you interview in the United States, school administrators love to talk about state, local, or national standards! Reassure your interviewer that everything you do ties into standards. Be sure the lesson plans in your portfolio have the state standards typed right on them. When they ask about them, pull out your lesson and show them the close ties between your teaching and the standards. 3. How will you prepare students for standardized assessments? There are standardized assessments at almost every grade level. Be sure you know the names of the tests. Talk about your experiences preparing students. You’ll get bonus points if you know and describe the format of the test because that will prove your familiarity. 4. Describe your discipline philosophy. You use lots of positive reinforcement. You are firm, but you don’t yell. You have appropriate consequences for inappropriate behavior. You have your classroom rules posted clearly on the walls. You set common routines that students follow. You adhere to the school’s discipline guidelines. Also, emphasize that you suspect discipline problems will be minimal because your lessons are very interesting and engaging to students. Don’t tell the interviewer that you “send kids to the principal’s office” whenever there is a problem. You should be able to handle most discipline problems on your own. Only students who have committed very serious behavior problems should be sent to the office. 5. How do you make sure you meet the needs of a student with an IEP? An IEP is an “individualized education plan.” Students with special needs will be given an IEP, or a list of things that you must do when teaching the child. An IEP might include anything from “additional time for testing” to “needs all test questions read aloud” to “needs to use braille textbook.” How do you ensure you’re meeting the needs of a student with an IEP? First, read the IEP carefully. If you have questions, consult a special education teacher, counselor, or other staff member who can help you. Then, you just make sure you follow the requirements on the IEP word for word. When necessary, you may be asked to attend a meeting in which you can make suggestions for updating the IEP. Your goal, and the goal of the IEP, is to make sure the student has whatever he or she needs to be successful in your class. 6. How do you communicate with parents? This question will come up at almost every elementary school interview. It’s fairly common in the middle school and high school as well. You might have a weekly parent newsletter that you send home each week. For grades 3 and up, you may require students to have an assignment book that has to be signed each night. This way, parents know what assignments are given and when projects are due. When there are discipline problems you call home and talk to parents. It’s important to have an open-door policy and invite parents to share their concerns at any time. 6. Do You Really NEED a Teaching Portfolio? Is a teaching portfolio absolutely necessary to get a job in education? I bet you think I am going to say, “Of course. You can’t get a job without one.” Actually, you CAN get a job WITHOUT a teaching portfolio. I’ve been on many interview committees and I’d estimate that less than 50% of all candidates have a portfolio. And we’ve even hired people who do not have a portfolio. But, even so, I STRONGLY recommend assembling a good portfolio and presenting it to your interviewers. But why? I hear the argument AGAINST portfolios all the time: It take many hours to prepare a proper teaching portfolio. (Which it does.) Interviewers seldom ask to see the portfolio. (Which is true?) It’s hard for inexperienced teachers to find enough quality material to put in the portfolio. (Perhaps.) So, why WOULD you want to have one? Even though you don’t NEED a portfolio, I really think it’s a good idea to have one in front of you next time you sit down at an interview table. Here’s why…. 1. When you have a portfolio, the interview will be easier because you will have something in your hands to talk about. When an interviewer asks you how you would do something, you can simply open your portfolio, and SHOW him/her how you HAVE BEEN DOING whatever it is they’re asking about. When you are asked a question, you can only really do one of two things: a) You can answer by simply telling them what you would do— or b) you can answer by SHOWING them PROOF of what your teaching is like. Which will impress an interviewer more? Of course, it is better to show and prove your teaching experiences because the interviewer will have much more confidence in your ability if he/she has seen concrete EXAMPLES of your work. 2. The simple act of walking in the room with a portfolio sends off positive signals. When you have a portfolio in-hand you seem serious about wanting the job. You are showing that you took time to prepare for the meeting. It shows that you are organized enough to compile evidence of your teaching experiences. People who are serious, prepared, and organized at an interview are usually serious, prepared, and organized teachers. Principals know this and they’ll be looking for signs of these attributes in their new employees. 3. An interviewer will find you more INTERESTING if you use your portfolio effectively at an interview. Think about it: All day long, this person is sitting in a room asking questions about teaching practices and philosophy of education. After 3… 4… 5… 10… 12… 15 candidates they are bored to death of listening to cliché responses and tired of focusing. So, with your portfolio, YOU have a chance to add a little excitement to their day. How? You make it a conversational, interactive interview. When they ask about your teaching philosophy, you don’t just tell them— you pull it out and put it in their hands while you talk about it. When they ask about a successful lesson you’ve done, you pull out photographs and pass them around the table. If they ask how you communicate with parents, you pull out a copy of a parent newsletter you made up and say, “Here’s a copy of my parent newsletter— you can keep it!” By giving your interviewer things to hold, examine, and discuss, the interview becomes more interesting. It’s not longer just a question-answer session. It morphs into a show and tell… a bragging session that shows off your qualities as a teacher. And THAT will make you stand out above the other candidates! 7. 5 Insider Tips for a Successful Interview Read these tips from someone who has sat on school interview panels for years. I have sat on the interview panel on my elementary school for several years and have witnessed some impressive and not so impressive interviews. Like many schools, our leadership team spent hours analyzing the answers and demeanor of the candidates. Our goal was to find the best teacher from the mere 45 minute meeting. Every second counts when you are under the watchful eyes of an interview team. Below are five helpful tips that may help you to impress your interviewers and secure your desired job. Interview Tip #1: Maintain an understanding of current best practices and be ready to provide examples of how you are implementing them in your classroom. For example, you should certainly be prepared to explain how you differentiate instruction. In a recent interview, we questioned what differentiation techniques one candidate would use to reach the low-achieving students in your classroom. She responded that she would pair the low-achievers with the high-achievers who would help teach the material. First of all, this is not differentiation. Because the high-achievers have mastered the material they are now expected to take others under their wings and teach them? As smart as these children may be, they do not have a teaching degree. Secondly, if she were truly meeting the needs of all of the students in her classroom, these high-achievers should have moved on to other tasks that match their ability level, while she worked with those struggling to understand the material. Interview Tip #2: Avoid saying anything negative about current or former colleagues. Collaboration is a must in schools today. Principals are looking for “team players” whose presence and expertise will add to the staff. I once heard an interviewee explain that her teammates were not very good teachers and their personalities clashed so she did not collaborate. This may very well be the case, but it sends up a red flag to those sitting across the table. Interviewers are left questioning was it the teammate or the interviewee who was the problem? Sugarcoat your answer or omit a few details, but remain positive. No one wants to hire someone who may bring negativity to a staff. Interview Tip #3: Create unique answers that will stick in the minds of the interviewers. Take time before the interview to consider those questions that will likely be asked. Think about the wonderful things you do in your classroom that set you apart from others. You may even want to set up a few interviews with schools that do not interest you just to get a feel for what types are questions are currently being asked. Our interview team would often ask a candidate why he or she wanted to become a teacher or has stayed with the profession. In this situation, do not say that you love kids. This response was most frequent, and the least impressive. Of course, you do and that is wonderful, but the answer is common and predictable. Interview Tip #4: As petty as this sounds, consider your appearance. If you have seen the latest “Tide To Go” advertisements with the “talking stain,” you understand that appearance can often speak louder than words. I am not exaggerating when I tell you that I once interviewed a candidate who was wearing a white shirt and thin bra that you could see right through. Needless to say, my memory of this interview was not how she ran her reading program. If you appear disheveled or inappropriate in an interview, a principal will be concerned about how you will present yourself in the classroom. Interview Tip #5: Do not forget to write a thank you note. Not only will your etiquette stand out among other candidates, but it gives you one more opportunity to compliment the principal and his/her school. A well-written thank you note can go a long way. 8. Teacher Interview: Common Sense and Professional Advice This is the culmination of several years of hard work. You’ve finished college. You’re done with your student teaching and you’ve passed all of your teacher certification examinations. The applications, resumes, and cover letters have been sent out to every local school district. All you can do now is sit around the house and wait for the phone to ring, right? Wrong! You should be preparing for your interview! I’ve been to the interview table several times as a candidate and many more times as an interviewer. If there were any tricks, secrets, or shortcuts to success in the interviewing process, I haven’t discovered them. My only sound advice for candidates is to come to the interview prepared. You should have your teaching portfolio in-hand and you should be ready to talk about anything and everything that relates to you, your background, and your philosophies on education. The best candidates know how to teach, they know how to articulate their teaching beliefs, and most of the time, they already know what types of questions will be asked before the interview even begins. It’s easy for an interviewer to spot an unprepared candidate. Candidates who have not practiced basic interview questions beforehand are unnaturally nervous. They shift in their seats more. They begin most answers with the word, “uhhhhh.” There are long pauses while interviewers wait for the candidate to process the question and think up an answer. They get confused by basic educational jargon that they learned in college. Almost every teaching interview includes similar, common questions. In order to be a prepared candidate, all you have to do is practice answering the most common questions before you go to the interview. (See the practice interview questions chapter in my book to review the 45 most commonly asked questions.) If you prepare beforehand, the interview questions will seem routine and familiar. There are no tricks or shortcuts; if you do your homework you will perform well. Body language can show whether you’re a confident, qualified teacher or an unsure one. At the interview, be confident, but not cocky. Smile when you walk in. Greet the people interviewing you with a smile and a nod. Firmly shake the hand of the principal and other interviewers that are within easy reach. When you take your seat, sit up straight with your feet on the floor and your hands in a relaxed position on the desk. Have a mild sense of humor. Prepare to make some humorous small talk when you are greeted. For example, if a principal shakes your hand and asks how you are, it’s okay to say, “A nervous wreck!” A whimsical introduction can break the ice. Be sure your sense of humor is clean and appropriate for an interview. Have a teaching portfolio ready. Your portfolio should contain extra copies of your resume, a copy of your teaching certificate, sample lesson plans, samples of student work, and any other evidence that shows you are a qualified candidate for a teaching position. It should be bound in a neat, professional-looking leather binder. (See the teaching portfolio chapter in my book for more information.) Place the portfolio in front of you when you sit down at the interview table. Usually, the people interviewing you will not ask to see your portfolio. They do, however, expect you to have it on-hand. Don’t wait for anyone to mention the portfolio. Instead, you should use it as a tool to describe your teaching experiences. For example, if you are asked to describe a lesson that involves teaching writing, you might say, “Yes, I can show you! I have a sample of student work that shows how I teach the writing process.” The first question at almost every interview will be: “Tell us about you.” You should already know what you’re going to say. Keep your answer reasonably brief. You can talk about the college you attended and provide an overview of your teaching experience. Always be positive. Try not to say, “I don’t know.” Avoid saying, “I’m not really good at…” Don’t say, “That’s one of my weak points.” Always tell the truth, but you don’t want to suggest that you’re not a confident, successful, qualified teacher. If you honestly don’t know the answer to a question, you might ask the interviewer to restate it in a different way, or you might want to give the best answer you can based on your knowledge and experiences. Use lots of examples when you answer questions. When they ask how you would do something, tell them how you have already done it. This will make you seem more experienced. For example, if an interviewer asks, “How would you use creative problem-solving in your lessons?” You might answer with, “When I was student teaching, I did a great creative problem-solving lesson when…” When you use specific examples, you’re convincing the interviewers that you’re more than just hypothetical talk. The final question of your interview will most likely be, “Do you have any questions for us?” Be prepared with a thoughtful question ahead of time. While this is probably not the most important question of the interview, it is your last chance to leave a positive impression. Rather than answering with, “Not really,” you should ask something philosophical or complimentary. You might ask the interviewer why they are proud of their school or what the people you’ll be working with are like. Since your interviewers will probably be meeting with lots of candidates, you should use the opportunity to ask a question and make yourself stand out. And, think about it: You’ve been on the hot seat answering their questions for 45 minutes. You’ve earned the right to turn the table, even if it is just for a moment. When you leave, the interviewers will, of course, be talking about you. They’ll be filling out little forms rating your experience, qualifications, communication skills, and personality. At the end of the day, they will have about a dozen of these forms sitting on the desk. They’ll look through them all and the chosen candidates will be the ones who were the most memorable, most qualified, and most prepared for the meeting. With some time and effort, that candidate can be you. C - Search for an Education Job Once your resume is ready and you are prepared for an interview, it’s time to find available jobs that match your criteria for a job. Where to look? Education jobs may be available from a variety of types of educational institution. The Apple Job Board The Apple has a job board that can be tailored to fit your search- no matter what teaching specialty or age group you’re gearing your search towards. Search for a job that is close to your location or find a job that inspires you to move. Compare School Employers If you want to see what the teaching community says about the schools where they work, check out our school employers to see what a member of The Apple rated it based on Administration, Academics, Pay/Benefits, Innovation, Parent Support. Job Fairs Many school systems hold job fairs. Schools seeking to fill positions are available to talk with prospective teachers in informal interviews. Bring your prepared resume to give interested employers. Job fairs can be overwhelming, so take good notes about schools with positions that interest you. After you leave the job fair, research the school to find more about its programs and reputation. Follow-up with schools that hold your interest. Step 5: Salary & Benefits Guide for Teachers You may already be very aware that teachers don’t earn as much as their educated counterparts in other professions, but knowing what salary and benefits package comes with teaching can be an important step in planning your future. Being a teacher is not a high paying job. Don’t look to make a salary based on your education, but do look for a salary based on your experience. Most public schools pay based on years of service and degree. A fifth year teacher with a masters will make more that a first year teacher with bachelors. Private schools hold discretion to pay their faculty on merit or experience. Ask your school if they distribute your salary over the course of the school year or over the calendar year. This will help you plan your finances and know what to expect come your first pay period. A. Comprehensive Teacher Salary Guide B. Professional Benefits A. Comprehensive Teacher Salary Guide Teaching can be a thankless job, so why not make the most of a career in education by obtaining the highest salary possible? Bachelors vs. Masters: Compare Salaries in 50 States US Department of Education: Institute of Educational Sciences (nces.ed.gov) Becoming a teacher isn’t about making a lot of money, but it is important to know what salary to expect to budget your life accordingly. The following salaries represent the starting salaries for teachers for all 50 states that hold either a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree. For comparison, the state salary average is included as well and represents beginning and experienced educators. Why wait? Starting Salaries For New Teachers CountryState Average Starting Bachelors Starting Masters Alabama$36,240 $29,640 $34,140Alaska$59,940 $37,290 $43,450Arizona$37,340 $29,510 $34,210 Arkansas$36,095 $26,210 $33,580 California$55,185 $38,920 $44,980 Colorado$42,050 $30,570 $38,020Connecticut$52,860 $37,800 $43,290Delaware$47,940n/an/aDist. Columbia $51,900 n/a$43,680Florida$39,290 $31,140 $33, 570 Georgia $42,350$32,220 $40,490Hawaii $41,080$32,620$37,550Idaho $40,145$25,060n/aIllinois$46,420$33,280$42,590Indiana$42,180$29,270n/aIowa$37,740$26,140n/aKansas$36,345$28,500n/aKentucky$36,090$28,400$35,310Louisiana$35,295$28,380n/aMaine$39,555$27,300$29,830Maryland$48,075$33,100$41,540Massachusetts$48,715$34,000$42,360Michigan$52,455$34,340$47,760Minnesota$38,745$30,561$38,670Mississippi$35,175$27,110$30,810Missouri$36,110$27,220$30,810Montana$35,760$23,190n/a Nebraska $35,140$26,790$29,930Nevada$40,870$27,220$36,130N. Hampshire $41,970$28,880$35,580New Jersey $54,990$37,000$43,410New Mexico $37,205$28,830$33,060New York $49,640$36,000$45,710North Carolina $38,185$26,930$33,670North Dakota $35,290$23,810n/aOhio$45,845$30,430$39,170Oklahoma$32,885$27,330$29,280Oregon$44,140n/a$37,040Pennsylvania$49,525$33,030$39,530Rhode Island $52,235n/an/aSouth Carolina $38,930$27,610$34,380South Dakota $33,515$24,980n/aTennessee$37,065$29,690$33,590Texas $40,755$32,330$36,660Utah$39,265$25,140n/aVermont$41,890n/an/aVirginia $40,690$31,990$36,710Washington $44,005$30,010$37,990West Virginia $36,710n/a$34,060Wisconsin $42,450$28,630$35,510Wyoming $37,845$28,270n/a Ten Great Cities for Teachers to Live & Work Whether you’re an experienced professional with a long career in teaching, or a young student considering a teaching career for the first time, you’ll want to explore many different cities before settling on one. The school system you’ll be teaching in is an important factor, as well as what the city has to offer. Consider these ten great U.S. cities: 1) Washington, D.C. 2) Los Angeles, California 3) Las Vegas, Nevada 4) New York City, New York 5) Chicago, Illinois 6) Austin, Texas 7) Denver, Colorado 8) Providence, Rhode Island 9) Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 10) Boston, Massachusetts (As of November 2007) Teaching Guide for Every State Where will your career take you? Searching for a job in education can be an arduous task. How much money can you expect to make? How does each state measure up with the national average? Find out important teacher-pupil ratios and state testing statistics. Connect with helpful links for popular school districts in each state, how to get certified, or start looking for jobs. Click on any state below and get started. AlabamaAlaskaArizonaArkansasCaliforniaColoradoConnecticutDelawareDistrict of ColumbiaFloridaGeorgiaHawaiiIdahoIllinoisIndianaIowaKansasKentuckyLouisianaMaineMarylandMassachusettsMichiganMinnesotaMississippiMissouriMontanaNebraskaNevadaNew HampshireNew JerseyNew MexicoNew YorkNorth CarolinaNorth DakotaOhioOklahomaOregonPennsylvaniaRhode IslandSouth CarolinaSouth DakotaTennesseeTexasUtahVermontVirginaWashingtonWest VirginiaWisconsinWyoming 10 Highest Paying Jobs in Education Most job seekers do not flock to the field of education for the salary, but rather for the rewards that come from taking part in the education system. There are such a variety of jobs within the field that the salary ranges of many professions vary drastically. The U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics has released its latest findings for occupations in education.10 HIGHEST PAYING JOBS IN EDUCATION Sr. No.JobsSalary1Academic Dean$140,5952K-12 School Principal$87,7483K-12 Assistant Principal$71,9584Professor/Post-Secondary Teacher$56,1205K-12 Counselor$53,7506High School Teacher$52,4507Special Education Teacher$51,5038Librarian$50,7109Middle School Teacher$50,63010Elementary School Teacher$47,870 6 High Paying Cities for K-12 Teachers 6 High Paying US Cities Teachers don’t get into teaching because of the great salaries, but earning more each paycheck can’t hurt. 1. Los Angeles Starting Salary with Bachelor’s Degree: $49,497 Starting Salary with Mater’s Degree $55,124 About Los Angels Unified School District: A major priority in the District is to have a fully certified /licensed teacher in every classroom. The District seeks qualified candidates who are innovative, enthusiastic, and are looking for the opportunity to make a difference. Mathematics, Science and special education are a priority for the District. The District is accepting applications for all subjects. Interested in exploring a job with LA Unified School District? Bottom of Form 2. New York City Starting Salary with Bachelor’s Degree: $43,436 Starting Salary with Master’s Degree: $48,747 About New York City Public Schools: Almost 135,000 people work full-time in New York City’s public school system — gifted teachers, principals, administrators, counselors, secretaries, paraprofessionals, custodians, and many, many more. Our shared mission is to provide the 1.1 million students we serve with the kind of education that will give them the tools to thrive in college and careers, and to contribute to their communities. Interested in exploring a job with New York City Public Schools? 3. Atlanta Starting Salary with Bachelor’s Degree: $43,231 Starting Salary with Master’s Degree: $47, 554 About Atlanta Public Schools 99 schools and other educational facilities are serving an estimated 50,000-student population. APS is organized into geographic clusters called School Reform Teams (SRTs), under the supervision of Executive Directors of Schools. 89 schools are classified at Title I schools and 86% of students are African American. 74% of students qualify for free and reduced meals. The ratio of teacher to student is no great than 1:23 at any level.The system’s 3,921 teachers make up 51 percent of APS staff personnel. Forty-five (45) percent of all APS teachers have advanced degrees. APS teachers have, on average, 15 years of classroom experience. interested in a job with Atlanta Public Schools? 4. Chicago Starting Salary with Bachelor’s Degree: $43, 233 Starting Salary with Master’s Degree: $46,228 About Chicago Public Schools: 623 Chicago schools employ 24,644 teachers that service 420, 982 students, 48.6% are African- American and 37.6% are Latino. 85.6% of students come from low-income families. The ratio of teacher to student is no great than 1:20. The Chicago Public Schools strives to be the premier urban school district in the country by providing all students and their families with high quality instruction, outstanding academic programs, and comprehensive student development supports to prepare them for the challenges of the world of tomorrow. Interested in a job with Chicago Public Schools? 5. Houston Starting Salaries with Bachelor’s Degree: $42,745 Starting Salaries with Master’s Degree: $43,745 About Houston Independent School District: The Houston Independent School District is the largest public school system in Texas and the seventh-largest in the United States. Most HISD (Houston Independent School District) schools are assigned to one of five regions (North, East, South, West, and Central) with offices located in communities to give students and parents personalized service and immediate assistance. HISD educates 202,000 students of diverse population: 58% Hispanic, 30% African-American, 9% white, 3% Asian/Pacific. 78% of Houston’s students qualify for free and reduced meals. 55,000 students are limited English proficient, who combine speak more than 90 different native languages. 12,721 teachers service HISD. 6. Philadelphia Starting Salary with Bachelor’s Degree: $39.914 Starting Salary with Master’s Degree: $41,088 About Philadelphia Public Schools: The School District of Philadelphia is one of the largest in the nation by enrollment, serving a racially and ethnically diverse student population. The district currently has a need for bilingual teachers who speak fluent English, and Spanish, Vietnamese or Chinese. The School District of Philadelphia has approximately 184,560 students in 291 public schools. The District is divided into twelve regions each under the supervision of a Regional Superintendent. The diverse student population represents 64.4% African-America and 15.8% Hispanic as its largest ethnicities. Will Teachers Face a Recession? Will teachers be in demand in 2016? Read and find out. Bureau of Labor Statistics (bls.gov) With the current economic climate in the US, everyone may be a bit on edge about the security of their job. What about the state of the teaching occupation? If you want to find out what the predictions are for the demand for teachers over the next decade, you won’t want to miss what the latest research suggests. Job Outlook for Teachers Employment of preschool, kindergarten, elementary, middle, and secondary school teachers is projected to grow as fast as average jobs in the US. Job prospects are expected to be favorable, with particularly good prospects for teachers in high-demand fields like math, science, and bilingual education, or in less desirable urban or rural school districts. The employment of school teachers is expected to grow by 12 percent before 2016. Because of large number of the occupations in this group, this growth rate will create 479,000 additional teacher positions, more than all but a few but just a few other occupations before 2016. Increased demand for teachers Through 2016, overall student enrollments in elementary, middle, and secondary schools—a key factor in the demand for teachers—are expected to rise more slowly than in the past as children of the baby boom generation leave the school system. Projected enrollments will vary by region. Fast-growing States in the South and West—led by Nevada, Arizona, Texas, and Georgia—will experience the largest enrollment increases. Enrollments in the Midwest are expected to hold relatively steady, while those in the Northeast are expected to decline. Teachers who are geographically mobile and who obtain licensure in more than one subject should have a distinct advantage in finding a job. The number of teachers employed is dependent on State and local expenditures for education and on the enactment of legislation to increase the quality and scope of public education. At the Federal level, there has been a large increase in funding for education, particularly for the hiring of qualified teachers in lower income areas. Also, some States are instituting programs to improve early childhood education, such as offering full day kindergarten and universal preschool. These programs, along with projected higher enrollment growth for preschool age children, will create many new jobs for preschool teachers, which are expected to grow much faster than the average for all occupations. Most job openings until 2016 will result from the need to replace the large number of teachers who are expected to retire over the period. Also, many beginning teachers decide to leave teaching for other careers after a year or two—especially those employed in poor, urban schools—creating additional job openings for teachers. Where will the jobs be? The job market for teachers also continues to vary by school location and by subject taught. Job prospects should be better in inner cities and rural areas than in suburban districts. Many inner cities—often characterized by overcrowded, ill-equipped schools and higher-than-average poverty rates—and rural areas—characterized by their remote location and relatively low salaries—have difficulty attracting and retaining enough teachers. Currently, many school districts have difficulty hiring qualified teachers in some subject areas—most often mathematics, science (especially chemistry and physics), bilingual education, and foreign languages. Increasing enrollments of minorities, coupled with a shortage of minority teachers, should cause efforts to recruit minority teachers to intensify. Also, the number of non-English-speaking students will continue to grow, creating demand for bilingual teachers and for those who teach English as a second language. Qualified vocational teachers also are currently in demand in a variety of fields at both the middle school and secondary school levels. Specialties that have an adequate number of qualified teachers include general elementary education, physical education, and social studies. Who will teach? The supply of teachers is expected to increase in response to reports of improved job prospects, better pay, more teacher involvement in school policy, and greater public interest in education. In addition, more teachers may be drawn from a reserve pool of career changers, substitute teachers, and teachers completing alternative certification programs. In recent years, the total number of bachelor’s and master’s degrees granted in education has been increasing slowly. But many States have implemented policies that will encourage even more students to become teachers because of a shortage of teachers in certain locations and in anticipation of the loss of a number of teachers to retirement. Salaries for Careers in Education U.S. Department of Labor Education offers a wide variety of fields. Each field comes with salary expectations. The salaries listed below were released from the U.S. Department of Labor. Average Salaries For Careers in Education High School Middle School Elementary School Assistant Principals$75,121$73,020$67,735Principals$92,965 $87,866 $82,414Special Ed. Teachers$52,250$52,550$49,710Vocational Ed.$51,050$46,470 Misc. Careers in EducationPost-Secondary EducatorsUniversitiesDesignationSalaryDesignationSalaryDesignationSalaryAdult Literacy/GED$46,690Professor$98,974K-12$53,750Gifted Ed Teacher$47,000Associate Professor$69,911Jr. Colleges$48,240Instructional Coordinators$55,570Assistant Professor$58,662Colleges & Counselors$41,780Librarian$50,860 College Instructor$42,609Occupational Therapist $54,660College Lecturer$48,289Pre-School Teacher$25,900Graduate Teaching Assistant$30,190Speech-Language Pathologist$60,840Teacher Assist. (K-12)$21,640 Teaching Salaries Based on Degrees Earned & Location Are you wondering if getting an advanced degree can help add money to your salary? The answer is “yes.” But depending on where you live in the US, the difference may be bigger than you think. The areas where the Master’s degree or a Doctorate really pay for themselves is in suburban areas. These figures were obtained by the National Center for Education Statistics, and they do account for cost differences between the geographic areas. Locale All Teachers Bachelor’s Degree Master’s Degree Doctor’s Degree Overall $44,400$39,200$49,400$53,700CITY $44,000$39,200$48,200$52,700SUBURBAN $45,700$39,800$50,600$55,600TOWN $45,900$41,600$51,200$45,600RURAL $43,000$38,800$48,400$51,400
Source: Department of Education, National Centre for Education Statistics.
Note: NCES’s comparable wage index was used to account for geographic cost difference.
B. Professional Benefits 1. Vacation There are many vacation days built in to the school year. Don’t worry about having to take time off around the holidays; it’s one of the perks to being a teacher. You do accrue sick and personal days throughout the year, but don’t expect to use all of your earned days every year. Since the teaching schedule is so great, when school is in session, plan to be there every day. 2. Healthcare Family healthcare is a standard benefit in schools. Expect to be offered healthcare for general care as well as dental and vision. Many plans cover counseling, rehabilitation and other special services. 3. Insurance Short and long-term disability plans may not be a part of the public school standard package. For a minimal fee, the system should provide a choice of carriers to choose from. Life insurance and workman compensation policies, however, are usually standard. 4. Retirement Most public schools offer a state retirement plan, while private schools might offer 401K plans. It is common for separate investment and retirement companies to work with schools help teachers plan for the future. Find out more about retirement and planning for the future. Bottom of Form